Tri-Cities Fever

Fever in for Ice-y reception

Despite the Tri-Cities Fever's second consecutive victory last Saturday night, Adam Shackleford wasn't going to be satisfied.

"Like I said earlier this week," the Fever coach said after Saturday's win over Kent, "we started our playoffs now. This is a work in progress. We're not there yet."

So today, the Fever (3-5) play at the Colorado Ice (0-9) at 6 p.m. in what on paper looks like an easy game for Tri-Cities.

Not true.

While the Ice hasn't won a game, it has come close, including last week's 32-30 loss to Wichita.

"They are a scary football team," Shackleford said. "They've played some good football against some tough football teams."

Two weeks ago, Colorado acquired standout wide receiver Lemans Casimier in a trade with the Billings Outlaws.

This week, it signed ex-Colorado State cornerback Nick Oppenneer, defensive end Dominic Applehans, offensive lineman Tyrone Lewis, and kicker Rocky Stevens.

So the Ice hasn't stayed pat.

For once, the Fever did this week though, as the team didn't make any transactions.

The team signed defensive lineman Dave Howell before last week's game, and the former University of Miami player dominated the line play in the team's 71-28 win over visiting Kent.

Houston Lillard will make his third straight start at quarterback for the Fever, stepping in for the injured Andy Collins, who is recovering from a detached bicep muscle. In two starts, Lillard is 32 of 47 for 342 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Fever's leading tackler, defensive back Montavis Pitts, is probable for today's game. Pitts missed last week's game with an injured hamstring.


KONA 610 AM's pre-game show starts at 5:45 p.m. The game will also be shown live at Kimo's in Richland. ... Charles McCullum returned at quarterback Friday night for Kent, helping the Predators beat visiting Fairbanks 42-26. McCullum missed last week's game against the Fever for precautionary reasons after he had been banged up the previous week. McCullum was just 4-for-13 for 39 yards and a TD pass, and he rushed seven times for 11 yards and a score. With the win, Kent improves to 4-6, jumping past Tri-Cities in the Pacific North standings into third. The Fever can jump back into third tonight, however, with a victory over the Ice.