KENNEWICK -- There was a lot to like in the Tri-Cities Fever's 80-10 Indoor Football League victory over the visiting Wenatchee Valley Venom on Saturday night.
The Fever got payback over a 59-52 road loss to Wenatchee Valley back on March 5. The Fever also officially clinched a playoff berth.
But with a big road test at Colorado (9-1) at 6:05 p.m. Friday, Tri-Cities (8-2) doesn't have much time to relish the victory.
Throw in the fact the Fever plays host to the division rival Fairbanks Grizzlies (8-3) on Saturday, May 28, and the Tri-Cities has two big weeks coming up.
"They're big games," said Fever coach Adam Shackleford. "That's exactly what you want. So many teams are playing to be done. They have three or four games left and then they put the pads away. We're playing for positioning. We want to play Colorado and Fairbanks."
Still, Shackleford saw a lot to like against Wenatchee Valley.
"I like the way we adjusted to personnel changes with (running back) Dennis (Kennedy) injured," Shackleford said.
Kennedy was held out of action Saturday with a sprained ankle.
"But if this was next week (against Colorado) he would have played," said Shackleford.
Instead, the Fever used receiver Steven Whitehead in the backfield with success. He rushed for 57 yards, including a 23-yard TD run.
"I also liked the way our offensive line protected (quarterback) Houston Lillard all night," Shackleford said. "I also liked the way our defensive line got after their quarterbacks and caused havoc."
This being Shackleford, who is never satisfied, he also found some things in the game he didn't like.
"I thought our kickoff team gave up too much (on returns)," he said. "We missed some assignments on offense in the running game and passing game. And defensively, we didn't do a great job of staying in our zones in the secondary. We were trying to go for the interceptions."
Best play of Saturday's game? How about Fever backup quarterback Antwon Young dumping off a screen pass to big defensive lineman Carl Barnett.
The big guy, listed at 6-2, 310 pounds, was playing some fullback for the Fever in the second half.
He took the pass and ran down the sideline, hurdling a Venom defensive back, who tried to cut the big guy down at the lower legs. Barnett turned the play into a 16-yard game.
"We ran that play in practice all week," said Shackleford. "No one thought we'd use it. But (Barnett) is a pretty good athlete."
The Fever feels blessed to have linebacker Jason Beauchamp playing for it.
The standout left the team early in the season when the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League wanted to sign him. But the Locomotives said they didn't want to do anything until they see what the NFL was going to do with its lockout situation.
Beauchamp told Las Vegas officials that until they figured out what they wanted to do he was going back to play for the Fever.
Two weeks ago, the Sacramento Mountain Lions claimed the rights to Beauchamp as an unsigned free agent.
"I report to camp with them in July," he said.
Whether that's early July, when the IFL playoffs are still going on, no one knows yet.
The Fever raised $6,772.27 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation on Breast Cancer Awareness Night on Saturday.
The team auctioned off all of the Fever players' pink jerseys during and after Saturday's 80-10 victory over the Venom.
Fever owner Teri Carr wasn't sure what the jerseys would go for.
"I didn't know what to think because it was an auction," Carr said. "It was more than what was raised for Military Appreciation Night last year."
Lillard's jersey went for the most money at $500.
Carr said if the Fever has to play a first-round playoff game at home, it would most likely be on Saturday, June 18.
A second-round home playoff game looks like it would happen on Friday, June 24.
"After that, I don't know what we'd do," Carr said.
The Jehovah's Witnesses annual summer convention is scheduled for the Toyota Center during July, and they would have the building Thursdays through Sunday.
It the Fever were to play host to the Intense Conference Championship game, it may have to occur on a Monday, which would by July 4.
If the team were to host the IFL title game, that would also likely have to be a Monday, possibly July 11.
Carr reports that the young fan, a 13-year-old boy, who was injured when Venom receiver Everett Roberts and Fever defensive back Dennis Rogan went into the stands for a passed ball and landed on him, suffered a concussion, bruised ribs and a sore back and neck.
Carr has been in contact the past two days with both the boy and his mother.