SPOKANE, WA – The Spokane Empire (7-1, 4-1) defeated the Tri-Cities Fever (3-6, 3-4) in Week 11 of the 2016 Indoor Football League season by a final score of 53-51 in front of 6,507 fans at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
For the second straight week the Empire defeated their in-state rival, but in very different fashion in Week 11 then Spokane's first two victories on the road in Tri-Cities.
Tri-Cities jumped out to a 31-18 lead in the first half of play thanks to three costly turnovers by the Spokane offense by the way of a turnover on downs and two interceptions, both of which occurred in the end zone.
Spokane responded in the third quarter by intercepting Tri-Cities on their opening drive of the half and recording 14-unanswered points to take their first lead of the game with 7:39 remaining in the third quarter at 32-31.
The teams would go on to exchange possession of the lead four-times through the remainder of the game. Spokane linebacker Nick Haag would then record a forced fumble to help set up a 12-yard touchdown run by running back Trevor Kennedy to extend the Empire lead at 53-42.
Tri-Cities would make a final run and bring the game within two-points after a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick McCain to Akeem Foster and converting on a two-point attempt that was followed up by a rouge point on the ensuing kickoff. Tri-Cities' late push, however, would be stymied as defensive back Tyree Robinson recorded his second interception on the night to finish off the Fever and allow Spokane to run out the clock for the 53-51 win.
Spokane quarterback Charles Dowdell completed 16-of-26 pass attempts for 189 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions while adding six carries for 27 yards. Trevor Kennedy racked up 119 yards on 19 carries and found the end zone four times on the ground. He also added one catch for 24 yards and a score. Carl Sims had a season-high ten receptions for 112 yards and one touchdown. Four different Empire receivers caught touchdown passes.
Defensively, linebacker Pasquale Vacchio led Spokane with nine total tackles and one tackle-for-loss. Defensive lineman Ben Perry recorded three total tackles, three tackles-for-loss, and three sacks. Tyree Robinson recorded both of Spokane's interceptions on the night.
Tri-Cities quarterback Patrick McCain also finished the night completing 16-of-26 pass attempts for 224 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also led the Fever in rushing with six carries for 28 yards, one touchdown, and two fumbles (one lost). Akeem Foster led the Tri-Cities receiving corps with seven receptions for 107 yards and three touchdowns.
The Empire will return to Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena next Saturday, May 7th to host the Billings Wolves for "Ladies' Night" presented by Big 99.9 FM Coyote Country. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for Happy Hour until kickoff (7:00 p.m.) with $1.50 OFF select drinks at arena concessions. The first 2,500 fans will receive Empire Dance Team Posters.
Ladies' Tickets (all-ages) start as low as $5 for next Saturday's game and accompanying men (all-ages) can purchase tickets starting as low as $9 each. One-dollar from each ticket sold will go to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Eastern Washington. Call the Empire at 509-242-7462 to get your tickets today.