KENNEWICK -- After looking at the game film from Saturday night's 70-44 victory over the visiting Everett Raptors, Tri-Cities Fever coach Adam Shackleford gave his team a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10 for its performance.
"We got some veteran guys who played well, and the rookies were intelligent," said Shackleford. "The offensive line meshed well. The line was better than averaged, and probably better than I expected."
Especially against Everett defensive lineman John Fields, who seemed to be involved in skirmishes all night -- at one time trying to twist Fever quarterback Houston Lillard's ankle under a pile.
"He's a dirty player," Shackleford said. "That's how he gets in guys' heads. He is also a good player. We would respect him more if he was just a good player and not a dirty player."
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Shackleford liked how the Fever kept its penalties down -- six for 13 yards.
"I also liked how we kept our composure when they obviously lost theirs," he said. "And we didn't let them back into the game. We didn't give them anything cheap."
As for room for improvement, the coach said his team gave too much yardage up on the kickoff team.
"In a 4th-and-short situation, we had guys defensively out of place, and at times our quarterback should have thrown the ball away rather than take the sack."
Overall, though, Shackleford didn't have much to complain about as the team prepares for its first road game, at the Nebraska Danger at 4:05 p.m. Sunday.
"I thought (receiver) Ed Berry and (defensive back) Marquise Liverpool stepped up," he said. "(Defensive tackle) Jake Killeen wasn't a surprise. He played very well. And Houston managed the game very well.
"As a whole, I was happy," he said.