Photo by Jimmy Rash/The Independent
Kennewick, WA - The Tri-Cities Fever has been away from the Toyota Center for nearly a month. But the Fever hopes the return home is something to celebrate.
The Fever plays the Nebraska Danger in the final regular season game for both teams on Saturday night. Kickoff is 7:05 p.m. The Fever and Danger has both lost eight straight games. The only difference, the Danger (5-10) will be headed to the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the Intense Conference thanks to some early-season wins.
The Fever (3-12) last won on April 15 at Colorado. The last home win came on April 1 against Colorado. While the Fever hopes to leave the fans with a victory on the final night of the season, there will be some celebrating going on at halftime.
The Fever will honor former defensive back Lionell Singleton, who was recently voted into the IFL Hall of Fame. Singleton played five seasons for the Fever before retiring at the end of the 2015 season. He was named all-IFL first-team in 2012 and 2013 and second-team all-IFL in 2014 and was instrumental in leading the Fever defense on runs to the IFL title games in back-to-back seasons.
He set an IFL record for interceptions (31) and career interception return yards (454). The Fever hopes that celebration will continue to the final buzzer.
But to do that, the Fever is going to have to find the end zone. Tri-Cities has struggled on offense in this losing stretch. The Fever is averaging just 32 points in its last eight games and has been held under 25 points four times.
The Fever is hoping to change that trend Saturday. The last time the two teams met was Feb. 27 in Nebraska where the Danger pulled out a 47-46 victory on a missed extra point in the final 90 seconds.
The Fever activated quarterback Pat McCain this week and hopes he can get the offense going. McCain has played in 12 games this season and thrown for 21 touchdowns, and rushed for 11 more. The Fever released Jawad Yatim, who played in the last two games for the Fever.
Nebraska has befallen a similar fate of the Fever over the past two months of the season. However, the Danger has suffered a little more heartbreak during its stretch. During the eight-game losing streak, Nebraska has lost two games by one point, a game by two points, and one by three.
Last week, the Danger lost 54-51 in overtime to Colorado. The week before, Spokane rallied in the fourth quarter for a 25-23 victory.
The Fever is coming off a 67-23 loss at Billings.
Notes: In addition to make a quarterback move, the Fever also released offensive lineman Rodrick Gladney and signed receiver Jerrell Young (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) ... Nebraska is 2-5 on the road this season ... These two teams met in the conference championship last season with Nebraska winning 86- 43 ... Nebraska has the second-best rushing offense in the league, averaging 89.5 yards per game. The Danger also have the league's best rush defense yielding just 58.2 yards per game.