06/10/2016 12:49 PM
The Tri-Cities Fever has had a week rest and get ready for the final stretch run of the 2016 season. Tri-Cities, sitting at 3-10 on the season, has three games left in the regular season starting Friday night at Green Bay (4-10). Kickoff is 5:05 p.m.
The Fever is still mathematically alive for the final playoff spot in the Intense Conference, two games behind the defending conference champions Nebraska. Both teams have lost six games in a row and have a pivotal matchup on the final night of the regular season on June 25.
But in order for that game to mean anything, the Fever needs to win its next two games, starting against a Blizzard team that beat the Fever 63-39 two weeks ago in Kennewick.
In order to turn things around, the Fever will turn to several newcomers to the roster. Some of the moves were because of injuries and others were out of necessity to try and turn things around in the final weeks of the season.
One of the biggest moves during the bye week was the release of quarterback Hunter Wanket. Wanket, who had been a starter off and on this season, played in 13 games, completing 53 percent of his passes, including 19 touchdowns. However, under his guidance, and the efforts of Pat McCain, who was put on short term injured reserve this past week, the Fever ranks at or near the bottom of every offensive category in the Indoor Football League.
Wanket was subsequently signed by the Danger this week.
Tri-Cities is averaging just 38.6 points per game and just has 35 touchdowns on the season.
Enter dual-threat quarterback Jawad Yatim. Yatim is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds from Mount Ida College in Newton, Mass. Yatim has previously been with Cedar Rapids and most recently Billings earlier this season.
The Fever also put defensive leaders Dee Maggitt Jr., one of the top defensive backs in the league, and Brandon Wilson on short-term injured reserve.
To fill the roster, Tri-Cities signed players Monday including defensive backs Trayon Maxie, Ronald Fields, Tre Watson, receiver Roston Tatum, quarterback Will Tudmon, and linebacker Ricardo Thompson.
Most Fever players welcomed a week off to get healthy, and now they are looking to finish the season strong.
“We have to keep fighting,” said Austin Alber. “We need to stay focused.”
Notes: Green Bay is coming off an 81-40 loss to Wichita Falls last week. The Blizzard fell behind 46-14 at halftime, allowing 413 yards of total offense in the loss … Green Bay is allowing a league-worst 58-1 points per game … The Fever and Blizzard rank last and second-to-last in total offense … The Fever ranks third in the IFL in total defense.