Tri-Cities Fever coach Adam Shackleford put aside the game film of last Saturday’s 55-16 loss to the Sioux Falls Storm and instead is looking toward his team’s road game Friday at the Wyoming Cavalry.
“I looked at it a little bit,” said Shackleford. “We play them next week and then we’ll give it a closer look. But we’re only 2 1⁄2 days away from playing at Wyoming. We’re going to worry about Sioux Falls next week.”
The Storm (9-0) dominated the Fever (9-1) from the beginning of the second quarter on, scoring 28 unanswered points to snap at 3-3 tie and go into halftime with a 31-3 lead.
“They are a better football team today than we are,” admits Shackleford. “They’ve got a lot of experience. They smothered us at all levels and we didn’t play very well.”
But it’s just one game, he continued.
“We all awoke the next morning, the sun came up and we were still in first place,” Shackleford said. “I’ll be extremely disappointed if our first loss of the season spoils our season.”
Sioux Falls coach Kurtiss Riggs agreed with Shackleford, stating that one game does not make a season.
“I told our radio guy that this is a lot like the NBA playoffs,” Riggs said. “You can’t expect something like that to happen all the time.”
And he expects the next meeting between these two teams, set for May 26 at Toyota Center, to be closer than the first game.
Fever quarterback Houston Lillard is just happy his team can concentrate this week on Wyoming.
“It’s a quick turnaround game at Wyoming,” Lillard said. “So whether we had won or lost we’ve got to get ready quickly for the next game.”
Which is what the Fever is doing.
The team practices for the third time this week today, then takes off tonight on a bus to Casper, Wyo.Shackleford said the trip should take 14 hours.
He’s made a few player changes this week, signing defensive back Josh Bey and releasing offensive lineman Lance Evbuomwan.
Bey, at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, played collegiately at Tennessee-Martin.
“He was a kid I tried to get into camp,” said Shackleford. “He spent some time with the Tennessee Titans, and then went on and got his degree. He’s had a great few days of practice, and he could see some playing time this week.”
Also suiting up will be Pasco High graduate Ryan Tolar, who was signed a few weeks ago. Tolar started for the University of Washingon on the offensive line for most of his college career.
“Ryan’s also had a good week of practice,” said Shackleford.
Evbuomwan had been struggling with injuries this season and hadn’t seen much playing time.
The Fever also get defensive back Deleon Gause back this week. He had a death in the family last week, and had to leave the team.
“He’s very important to our defense,” said Shackleford, who had to use receivers Steven Whitehead and Tre Young in his place last week against Sioux Falls.
Notes: The Colorado Ice released quarterback David Knighton on Monday. Ice coach Heron O’Neal made a surprise decision last Saturday when he started Jeremy Sanders at quarterback last week against Wyoming. Sanders responded by rushing for four touchdowns and passing for two more in a 59-46 win. The Ice set an Indoor Football League record for rushing yards in a game at 260. ... Lehigh Valley signed quarterback Chris Malleo this week. Malleo started last season for Reading, leading the team to an 8-6 record and the Atlantic Division title as a rookie.