LOVELAND, CO - The Tri-Cities Fever stayed with the season-long script and had another game go down to the wire. The Fever scored the final 10 points of the game in final 3:41 to pull out a 39-31 win over the Colorado Crush on Friday night, and win the season series between the two teams.
The Fever improves to 3-4 win the win while Colorado is still winless, now at 0-7. Tri-Cities looks for its second straight win Saturday night when it hosts the Spokane Empire.
Trailing 31-29 late, newly-signed kicker Daniel Zeidman connected on a 41-yard field goal with 3:41 remaining to give the Fever a 32-31 lead. Tri-Cities stretched the lead its next possession when Pat McCain connected with Dejuan Miller on a 46-yard touchdown play to push the margin to 39-31.
The Crush had one final chance with a first-and-goal at the Fever 1-yard line with 16 seconds remaining. But the Fever defense held, forcing three straight incompletions to hold off the Crush, and earn its first road win of the season.
McCain came in at quarterback for Tri-Cities on the second play of the game after Hunter Wanket recieved a shot to the head. McCain completed 12 of 25 passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the Fever in rushing with 45 yards on 14 attempts.
WR Dejuan Miller led the Fever with four catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Dejay Lester had a game-high five receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown.
Stephen Godbolt anchored the defensive effort with a team-high 11 tackles, adding an interception and pass break-up. Brandon Wilson registered eight tackles while Roosevelt Holliday and Brandon Rankin each had a sack in the game.
With Damien Fleming attending a tryout for the Canadian Football League (CFL), Rashard Smith filled in at quarterback this week for the Crush. He finished with 176 yards passing and 4 TDs. LB Jake Johnson led the defense with 16 tackles.
It appeared the Fever's road woes would continue Friday night after a slow start. Colorado jumped out to a 13-0 lead and led 19-6 midway through the second quarter. A late touchdown catch by Lester in the second quarter closed the margin to 19-12 at halftime, and McCain brought the Fever all the way back at 19 on a 4-yard run with 5:17 left in the third quarter.
Tri-Cities took its first lead of the game with 2:24 on the clock in the third when McCain connected with Miller from 29 yards to make the score 26-25.