WENATCHEE -- Tri-Cities Fever coach Adam Shackleford was worried about Wenatchee Valley this week, especially after the Venom signed its starting quarterback Devin Hollins from last season.
Hollins passed for 278 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Venom past the Fever 59-52 in an Indoor Football League game at the Town Toyota Center in front of 3,200 fans.
Hollins scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard run with 30 seconds remaining in the game to give the Venom the lead -- although Shackleford admitted afterward that the Fever let him score so it could have the ball back.
On the ensuing kickoff, the ball hit Fever lineman Jason Donnal, and the Venom recovered.
"It was a good IFL game," Shackleford said. "I just wish we would have come out on top. We feel like if we recover that fumble at the end of the game we've got a good chance to win it. We would have gone for two and tried to win it."
Just two weeks ago, the Fever routed Wenatchee 53-14 in an exhibition at Toyota Center.
Venom head coach Brian Smith immediately went out and re-signed Hollins.
The QB led Wenatchee Valley to a victory on the road last week over Fairbanks, and Shackleford was impressed.
"That quarterback they have really makes them a better football team," Shackleford said. "In indoor football you gotta have a guy who can run the offense at quarterback."
Fever quarterback Houston Lillard had a good game, too.
He passed for 318 yards and six touchdowns -- four of them to Tre Young.
But the Venom forced three turnovers -- two interceptions and a fumble. One of the interceptions was by Wenatchee Valley's Vincent Joseph, who returned the ball 30 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
"We didn't take care of the ball offensively," Shackleford said.
Young finished with eight catches for 145 yards for the 1-1 Fever, which plays Fairbanks at home next Saturday.
"There are two ways we can go from here," Shackleford said. "We can learn from it and go back and get ready for Fairbanks, or we can fall apart. And I think I know what kind of team we have.
"It's tough to win on the road," he continued. "We're a young team, we've got a lot of first-year guys. We're a rebuilding program. Last year we were .500, and we won as many games as the last three previous seasons."