SPOKANE, WA – The Spokane Empire (6-1, 3-1) defeated the Tri-Cities Fever (3-5, 3-3) in Week 10 of the 2016 Indoor Football League season by a final score of 52-39 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington.
The Empire jumped out to a 20-0 in the first quarter of play thanks to three consecutive stops by the defense and three touchdown passes by quarterback Charles Dowdell to three different receivers (Kennedy, Hayes, Sims).
Tri-Cities' offensive struggles would continue in the second quarter as they would fail to find the end zone on fourth down in the Spokane red zone, but would respond by forcing the Empire to a long field goal that would be missed. After finding the end zone for the first time on the night via a short run by quarterback Pat McCain, the two teams would go on to trade scores through the remainder of the half before Tri-Cities converted on a 27-yard field goal as time expired to limited the Spokane lead to 33-17.
Spokane would fail to find the end zone in the third quarter while Tri-Cities was able to once. Due to an off-sides penalty against the Empire, the Fever would capitalize on the free play and score on a 27-yard pass from McCain to receiver Dejuan Miller. The quarter would end with the Empire leading 33-23.
In the final quarter of play the Fever had an opportunity to close the gap after blocking an Empire extra point attempt and returning it for two-points, but Spokane would record a rouge on the ensuing kickoff to keep the momentum in their favor. On Tri-Cities next possession, Empire linebacker Pasquale Vacchio would record an interception which would set up a short rushing score by running back Trevor Kennedy to extend the Spokane lead to 46-25. The teams would trade scores once more on the night before Spokane would go on to run out the clock and seal the 52-39 road win.
Spokane quarterback Charles Dowdell completed 8-of-20 pass attempts for 108 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions while adding five rush attempts for 13 yards and one score. Trevor Kennedy recorded ten rush attempts for 65 yards and two touchdowns. He also added one reception for 30 yards and a score. Five receivers recorded receptions on the night and three hauled in touchdown catches (Hayes-2, Kennedy, Sims).
Defensive back Tyree Robinson led the Empire defense with seven total tackles and two tackles for loss. Defensive lineman Ben Perry recorded seven total tackles, one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, and one fumble recovery. Linebacker Pasquale Vacchio and defensive back Robert Brown each recorded an interception.
Quarterback Hunter Wanket started the contest for the Fever and completed 3-of-10 pass attempts for 22 yards and one interception. He was later replaced by Pat McCain who went 12-of-21 for 94 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. McCain also led the Fever in rushing with 13 attempts for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Robert Brown added eight rushing attempts for 28 yards and two scores.
The Empire will return to Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena next Friday, April 29th and host the Tri-Cities Fever for the first time during the 2016 regular season. Next Friday's game is Kid's and Star Wars as the first 3,500 fans receive LED Light Sticks courtesy of CenturyLink. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on IFLLive.TV and AM 700 ESPN radio Spokane with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 p.m.