Kennewick, WA - The first two games of the season for the Tri-Cities Fever have not quite gone according to plan for first-year coach Ryan Lingenfelder.
The Fever (0-2) has lost a pair of close games against two teams that are expected to battle for Intense Conference playoff spots in June.
But if Lingenfielder has learned one thing about his players early on this season is they are willing to fight, and by eliminating a few mistakes, could easily be 2-0 instead of 0-2.
Lingenfielder hopes the progress his team has made in the first two weeks will result in the team's first win of the season when the Fever take on the Billings Wolves (1-1) on Saturday night at the Toyota Center. Kick off is 7:05 p.m.
The Fever is coming off a 47-46 loss at defending conference champion Nebraska Danger. The Fever played even with the Danger (0-1) and held an early fourth-quarter lead, but a missed extra point in the final 90 seconds proved to be the difference.
The week prior, the Fever fell behind by 17 points in the first half because of two turnovers in a 60-51 loss to the expansion Spokane Empire.
Both close games, with both outcomes undecided into the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Fever offense has been solid the first two games behind Hunter Wanket and Pat McCain. Last week the two combined to throw for more than 260 yards and for the season have combined to throw for 490 yards and 10 touchdowns to just one interception.
They will take a Billings defense this weekend that allowed just 30 points last week in a win over the Colorado Crush.
Billings split its first two games losing opening weekend to five-time defending champion Sioux Falls.
Notes: The Fever signed veteran linebacker/defensive lineman Brandon Wilson this week. Wilson played with the Fever during its title runs in 2011 and 2012 … This is the fifth meeting between the two games. The teams split their four games last season. The Fever won the first two, while the Wolves won the last two … this is the first of three meetings this season … Wanket ranks second in the league in passing yards per game at 207 yards per game … Dejay Lester ranks third in the league in receiving yards per game at 91.5 … Receiver Akeem Foster is tied for second in touchdown receptions with 4 … The Fever ranks first in the league in passing yards and second in passing yards per game at 241 per game … Billings is led by quarterback Dak Britt, who has thrown 4 TDs on the year and has not thrown an interception … Julian Lang lead the Wolves rushing attach with 36 carries for 166 yards and three touchdowns.