Fever Fall in Home Opener
KENNEWICK, Wash - Over 5 thousand fans crowded the Toyota Center for the Tri-Cities Fever home opener to watch their team in the new AF2 league. The Fever scored early and often in the first half, with Brian Baker connecting with Robert Garth, J.R. Thomas and Leroy McFadden to give the Fever and early 20-6 lead. But the Blitz would not be stopped!
Chad Elliot and Eric Mahanked hooked up on multiple passes to bring the Blitz back into the game. Nearing the end of the fourth quarter, with the game tied at 45, the Fever had the ball deep in their own territory. On fourth down, J.R. Thomas was tripped up and fell, forcing Brian Baker to throw an incomplete pass and turn the ball over on downs.
Both Baker and Thomas were very upset, thinking the Blitz's Nathan Munson may have interfered with Thomas. The Fever defense held strong, giving Chad Elliot no room to throw, and forcing Steve Baker to kick a field goal. Baker had missed 4 extra point attempts and two field goals at that point, but this time the kick was true and Bakersfield took the lead 48-45 with less than a minute on the clock.
A huge pass to the big man Leroy McFadden set the Fever up in the red-zone with :30 left. Baker quickly went to their go-to-guy of the night, Robert Garth, who got an amazing block from McFadden as he stretched out into the end zone. However, the defender touched Garth before he hit the pads, therefore Garth was ruled down at the 3 yard line. A trick play to J.R. Thomas didn't work, so Baker decided to go back to Garth.
With just a few ticks left, Baker lobbed a beautiful pass to Garth who was alone in the end zone. Garth had it in his hands, but dropped the game winning touchdown. The Fever couldn't connect on their next play and the Blitz won their second in a row while the Fever fell to 0-2 on the year. Tri-Cities next game is this coming Saturday. They are away at Central Valley. The next broadcast on KNDU and KNDO is May 5th against Stockton.