Fever Eke Out 37-34 Victory over Crush

Fever Eke Out 37-34 Victory over Crush

Story by Jeff Morrow/Try-City Herald


Kennewick, WA - It wasn't pretty, but the Tri-Cities Fever held off the Colorado Crush 37-34 on Friday night for the team's second Indoor Football League win this season. The Fever raised their record to 2-3, while the Crush fell to 0-5.

The Tri-Cities offense, which went 6-for-11 in drives when it came to scoring, came up with the right play in the final minute to get the victory.

The Crush had just taken the lead, 34-30, with 3:01 to play, as Damien Fleming found Doug Williams in the back of the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown. But the Fever didn't panic, even after Fever quarterback Hunter Wanket hit Akeem Foster for what looked like a go-ahead score from 21 yards out — only to be called back when officials ruled Brandon Rankin reported illegally as an offensive lineman.

Two plays later, Wanket found Foster for a 17-yard gain down to the Colorado 9. Three plays later, from the 6 and with under 30 seconds to play, Wanket found Foster on the left sideline in a one-on-one situation. Foster beat his man and held on to the hard pass for the winning score.

That gave the Fever a 37-34 lead with 24.8 seconds remaining — an eternity in the IFL. But Tri-Cities' defense, which played well almost the entire game, was stout in the Crush's final drive. And when Theodore Beuchert's 52-yard desperation field-goal attempt was short as time expired, the Fever celebrated their first victory in almost a month.

Foster was the offensive star for Tri-Cities, catching five passes for 71 yards. Newly signed running back Rob Brown had a strong debut for the Fever, rushing for 31 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Demarius Washington, the league's top receiver, showed why he's the best, with eight catches for 101 yards for Colorado. But the Fever defense kept him out of the end zone.