SPOKANE, WA – The Empire (3-1) will return to Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Week 6 for their second home game of the 2017 IFL regular season. Spokane will play host to the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles (1-2) on Friday, March 24 with a 7:00 p.m. PT kickoff.
This Friday's home game will be "Hometown SuperHeroes Night" brought to you by 92.9 ZZU and Lilac City Comicon, featuring special recognition for area public service members. There will also be special appearances by a host of performers representing superheroes every child is sure to enjoy. The first 1,500 kids through doors (MVP Club at 5:30 p.m., general doors at 6:00 p.m.) will receive an Empire Kid's Cape courtesy of U.S. Linen and Uniform.
The Empire are coming off a three-game road stint as they will now return to Spokane for three straight home games, along with their second bye week of the regular season, over the next four weeks.
Spokane fell to the Wichita Falls Nighthawks three weeks ago, as they came up just one play short in double overtime by a final score of 56-57. Last week, Spokane won their first two Intense Conference games of the regular season within just five days of one another. After defeating the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles 41-35, the Empire traveled to Colorado where they dominated the Crush by a final score of 70-37.
Empire quarterback Charles Dowdell pass for 200 yards and seven touchdowns in the win over Colorado with four of his passing touchdowns going to rookie wide receiver Devonn Brown. Despite missing two starters on the defensive front, the Empire clamped down and limited the Crush to four-of-nine on third downs while racking up three sacks, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries
While Spokane extended their conference lead last weekend, the Screaming Eagles had their first bye week. A bye week that came at the most opportune time with the recent hiring of new Head Coach Matthew Sauk in the wake of the team parting ways with their first coach just two weeks into the season.
Despite the changes internally with the team, Screaming Eagles quarterback Verlon Reed has proven to be a dynamic playmaker. In his first three games of the season, Reed leads the team with 30 rush attempts for 150 yards and one touchdown on the ground while he's completed 63-of-100 pass attempts for 537 yards, 15 touchdowns, and only two interceptions.
In the first meeting between the Intense Conference rivals, Spokane jumped out to a 28-10 lead in the first half. The Screaming Eagles would rally in the second half, holding the Empire to only two touchdowns for the remainder of the contest. After a touchdown run had put the Empire up 41-22 early in the fourth quarter, Salt Lake took the ensuing kickoff 57-yards for a touchdown. The Screaming Eagles went on to recover the onside kick which set up an over-the-wall catch by receiver Devin Mahina to bring the game within one score. The Salt Lake rally would fall short, however, as they were unable to recover a second straight onside attempt and an illegal defense with seconds remaining on the clock would give Spokane a first down and allow them to close out the 41-35 road win.
This week's game will be broadcast live on the IFL's YouTube Channel and also available on 700 ESPN and 105.3 FM radio in Spokane with Larry Weir on the call.