Danger hang on for 69-64 win over Fever
Article posted on: 2013-06-15 00:00:00
By Tony Chapman
Nebraska Danger Staff Writer
For well into the third quarter on Saturday night, it appeared the Nebraska Danger would limp into the IFL playoffs.
But, after a fast and furious final 17 minutes, the Danger turned a 51-41 deficit into a 69-64 win over the defending Intense Conference champion Tri-Cities Fever, and now take momentum into next week's conference title game against the Colorado Ice.
"Another crazy game for us," Nebraska coach Mike Davis said. "We didn't play very well for most of three quarters, but some big plays turned the game around for us and then we just had to hold on at the end. "
"You have to give Tri-Cities credit for coming back, and our fans just did a tremendous job in the last minute. We probably don't win that game without them."
After Joe Houston missed a 33-yard field goal wide right with just under two minutes left, the Fever got one last chance. But, the Nebraska defense held and they had to do it twice.
Nebraska appeared to have the game won when Jamar Love broke up a Dante Warren pass with 31 seconds left, but he was called for pass interference. Instead, the Danger stopped four more pass plays and saw Warren's final pass, with 16 seconds left in the game, go through the end zone.
"We were just trying to keep them in front of us," Davis said. "They have a great group of receivers and Warren gave us fits all night. It was a great effort from our defense."
And, it came in the shadows of an offensive effort that saw the Danger set three franchise records. Led by IFL player-of-the-year candidate Jameel Sewell, Nebraska rushed for a team record 201 yards. Sewell set a franchise record for individual yards as well, going for 113 yards on 14 attempts. He also had four touchdowns on the ground, which tied a Danger record.
Sewell's 39-yard scamper with just over six minutes left in the contest capped of a 21-point spurt from the Danger that turned a 51-41 deficit into a 62-51 lead. The three touchdowns capped an improbable run after the Fever took a 10-point lead on a 3-yard run by Keola Antolin.
But, Nebraska answered on their next play when Randy Bell scored on a 25-yard run. Then, they took the lead for good on an improbable special teams play when Corey Surrency forced a Gary Wilburn fumble that bounced back into the end zone, and Ramon Broadway recovered for a touchdown.
"That was a big play for us," Davis said. "It seemed like that one gave us all the momentum we needed. It gave us the lead and we were able to keep it."
Warren caused Nebraska fits all night. He finished 20-for-29 passing, but his final five attempts were incomplete. He threw for 251 yards and ran for 63 on 15 attempts.
Bell added 73 yards for Nebraska, while Sewell was just 10-for-23 passing. He did, however, throw four touchdowns, including a pair to Andre Piper-Jordan.
The Danger will host the Colorado Ice next Saturday in the Intense Conference championship game with kickoff set for 7:00 at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island.