Danger host Ice in key Intense Conference matchup
Article posted on: 2014-05-20 00:00:00
By Tony Chapman
What has turned into one of the best rivalries in the IFL returns to Nebraska on Thursday night as the Nebraska Danger will face the Colorado Ice in a game with major playoff implications for both teams. Kickoff is set for 7 PM at the Heartland Events Center as the Danger will also host Military Appreciation Night and a School's Out Bash for area elementary school students.
The Danger (9-2) bring a five-game winning streak into the contest, the longest in franchise history, after a 63-44 road win in Green Bay on Saturday. Running back Troy Evans scored four first-half touchdowns as the Danger jumped to a 34-20 halftime lead and were never threatened in the second half. Quarterback Jameel Sewell threw for 230 yards and ran for 86 in the win while accounting for five touchdowns.
"I think we've played pretty well, recently," Danger coach Mike Davis said of his team's winning streak. "We are mostly healthy on offense and have made some big plays on defense, but I think our guys would tell you we still haven't played our best game yet. We can get better."
After missing most of the first six games, Sewell, the reigning IFL most valuable player, has been on a tear during the Danger's five-game winning streak. He has accounted for 29 touchdowns (13 rushing, 16 passing) and averaged 55.4 yards/game on the ground and thrown for 190.6 yards while throwing just one interception.
What's more is Sewell has been backed up by one of the league's top defenses. The Danger leads the league in yards allowed (210.3/game), sacks (29) and defensive touchdowns (six). They are second in interceptions with 12 on the season. Linebacker Pig Brown and defensive linemen Claude Wroten are the top-two in the IFL in sacks.
"For the most part, we have played pretty well on defense," Davis said. "I think in any game you probably have a handful of plays you wish you had back and we had some of those against Green Bay. We'll have to be firing on all cylinders against Colorado. Willie Copeland is probably one of the best quarterbacks in the league. We expect another great game with them."
The teams played four times in the regular season in 2013 and Nebraska took the series 3-1, getting a 67-55 road win in the second to last game of the year to clinch home field in the playoffs. The playoff game went down to the last play when Copeland's pass to former Nebraska-Kearney receiver Kyle Kaiser fell incomplete in the end zone. Colorado took a 38-30 win earlier this season as they held the Danger to just 72 yards of offense as Nebraska played without the injured Sewell.
The Ice (7-3) leads the league in points allowed (35.3) and interceptions with 21 and they share the lead with the Danger by scoring six defensive touchdowns on the season. Copeland has been excellent as a passer, leading the league in yards/game (176.6) and touchdowns with 40. Kaiser is his favorite target as he is fourth in the league in receiving with a 63.5 yards/game average and is second in the league with 15 touchdowns.
Doors open at 6:00 with pre-game activities beginning at 6:30.
Tickets for Friday night are available at area Pump & Pantry stores, the Heartland Events Center Box Office, or via Ticketmaster. The game will be broadcast live on 2DayFM 103.1, or streamed live at www.2dayfm1031.com
Following the game, an autograph party with Players and Coaches will take place on the Danger turf.