The Tri-Cities Fever are on the road to Spokane on Friday and hope to strike back at the Empire for some agonizing outcomes in this IFL season.
Three times this season, the Fever have taken the field against their old coach, Adam Shackleford, and his new team. Three times the Empire came away with smiles: 60-51 in the season opener at Toyota Center, 52-39 in the Tri-Cities on April 23, and 53-31 a week later in Spokane.
Three weeks after that last loss, the Fever (3-8) are back for round four, with hopes of breaking a four-game losing streak.
To do that, they’ll need a major upswing against an Empire squad that is 8-2, won five games in April and had won six in a row until last weekend’s 63-50 loss at perennial IFL powerhouse Sioux Falls.
Spokane is third in the IFL in scoring offense at 58.3 points a game — the Empire, Sioux Falls and Wichita Falls all are within 1.6 points of each other atop the league — and have topped 60 points in four games, including 97 against Colorado and 75 against Billings.
Quarterback Charles Dowdell has been one of the best this season and has been tough on the Fever, completing 36 of 66 passes (55 percent) for 457 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s also run for 92 yards and two more scores.
Shutting him down will be a big job for the Fever defense, which is third in the IFL in points allowed (46.2 per game).
Kickoff is 7 p.m.