The Tri-Cities Fever dodged a bullet to win its final Indoor Football League regular-season game Saturday night, beating the Iowa Barnstormers 42-39 in the Toyota Center.
It took a surge by Fever defensive lineman Brandon Rankin to break through the line and block Josh Gable’s 27-yard field goal attempt that would have tied the game as time expired.
With the win, the Fever finishes the regular season at 8-6 and have next week off before playing Nebraska on the road June 26 for the Intense Conference championship.
The Fever led the entire game and were up 39-18 with 10 minutes to play.
But the Barnstormers rallied to score three TDs over the final 8:41 to cut the lead to 42-39.
Brady Beeson’s 32-yard field goal attempt was blocked with 44.3 seconds remaining, and Iowa’s Sean Daniel returned it 26 yards for a score.
Iowa then got the onside kick after the ball went off two Fever players.
Iowa QB Taylor Genuser moved his team down to the Fever 12 but couldn’t get the ball into the end zone. On one play, Genuser hit a wide open Johnny Thomas, but the receiver couldn’t hang on for the score.
Twice Gable was ready to kick the field goal, and twice Fever coach Adam Shackleford called a timeout before Rankin’s key play to give the Fever the victory.