Photo courtesy of Zach Edwards
Spokane, WA - The Empire (8-2, 6-1) will return to Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena this Friday, May 20th to host the Tri-Cities Fever (3-8, 3-5) with a 7:00 p.m. PT kickoff.
Last weekend the Empire visited the five-time defending IFL champion Sioux Falls for the first time in franchise history. The two teams are currently ranked first within their respective conferences while they also fielded the league's top two scoring offenses in Week 13.
The first half was dominated by strong offensive performances from each team as they would trade scores leading up to halftime. Spokane had an opportunity to bring the game back to even with a final shot at the end zone, but Storm linebacker Tyler Knight would record his first of two key interceptions on the night to help his team maintain a 36-28 advantage.
The defensive units stole the spotlight to open the second half of play as neither team was able to find the end zone for the next 15 minutes. Sioux Falls failed to convert on a 50-yard field goal attempt on their opening possession, but would rally to the tune of two interceptions during the quarter to offset their own offensive miscues.
The final quarter of play produced 49 total points between the two teams. Spokane fell behind by two scores in the final minutes of the quarter but rallied back to bring the game within one touchdown at 50-56 with 1:20 left on the clock. The Empire recovered the ensuing onside kick, but the next two plays would result in Spokane's fourth interception throw on the night and then a 30-yard touchdown run by the Storm as Sioux Falls would close out the 63-50 home win.
For the Fever, their Week 13 loss to an Intense Conference rival in the Billings Wolves (5-6, 4-3) has put them in a must-win situation during their trip to Spokane this Friday to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Tri-Cities led Billings 36-26 at the half but would then allow a twenty-point third quarter rally by Billings. Despite being down 44-49 in the final minute the Fever had an opportunity at the go-ahead score, however, an interception by quarterback Pat McCain would provide the Wolves with the road win and move them into the third place spot in the conference.
The Week 14 matchup will be the final meeting between Spokane and Tri-Cities during the 2016 Indoor Football League regular season.
The Empire have a 3-0 series lead and will look to extend the winning streak against the Fever that provided Spokane fans with a nail biter during their April 29th visit to Spokane Arena. After falling behind 18-29 at the half, Spokane posted a 28-point third quarter to propel them to the second half comeback and a 53-51 win.
Friday's game can be viewed live on SWX-TV and online via IFLLive.TV. The game will also be broadcast on AM 700 ESPN radio Spokane with Larry Weir. The 700 ESPN pregame show will begin at 6:30 p.m.
GAME NIGHT INFORMATION
The Week 14 game is Hometown Heroes Night presented by Barton Boys Heating & Air Conditioning and AM 700 ESPN radio Spokane. The first 5,000 fans receive fan clappers courtesy of Barton Boys, plus its Happy Hour with $1.50 OFF select drinks at arena concessions from doors (6:00 p.m.) to kickoff. There will also be a ticket special for next Friday's game with a B.O.G.O deal on single game tickets for community members to celebrate the men and women that assist in our local communities each and every day. Use promo code "HERO" via www.TicketsWest.com, at the arena box office, or by phone at 1-800-325-SEAT (7328) to receive the ticket discount.