WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee Valley Skyhawks snapped a four game losing streak with a 42-34 win over the Tri-Cities Fire last Sunday in Kennewick. The Skyhawks are set to meet the Fire again tonight at the Town Toyota Center.
Last week, the Skyhawks struggled against the Fire in the first half, falling behind 34-22. The Skyhawk defense came alive in the second half and shut out the Fire as WV scored 20 unanswered points for the win.
“The first half we had some defensive breakdowns and that’s how they got their points. Second half, the defense came together and did what they were supposed to be doing. They figured some things out,” said WV Head Coach Keith Evans. “The toughened up and we kept going. We did what we needed to do to take over that game.”
Quarterback Jarvis Alston was 8-for-13 for 105 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also ran six times for 61 yards and a touchdown. Jon Roberson had 4 catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. Davonte Sololmon had 4 catches for 53 yards and a touchdown.
“The offense played awesome. We ran the ball effectively. We had one fumble. I am somewhat pleased. I like a clean game without a running back losing a fumble. That’s for sure,” Evans said.
With the win, the Skyhawks improved to 3-5 in the American West Football Conference. Tri-Cities is 0-7. Idaho leads at 8-0. Reno is 5-4.
Evans feels they have some momentum coming into the game Saturday. He expects Tri-Cities to play hard.
“We can’t underestimate them. We have to come out and play hard. It should not come down to a goal line stand like it was a few times last week. We held them for four downs on the half-yard line toward the end of the game,” Evans said.
The quarterback is mobile and they have a decent receiver, but otherwise the Fire offense is pretty basic, especially for the indoor game, according to Evans. They run a lot and play hard but their offense is not complex.
Offensively, Evans was happy, but he’s looking for more from his defense.
“The 21 points we put up in the first half was not bad. There was a turnover. They just had the ball way too long in the first half which was unacceptable. There is no way they should put up 30 points on our defense in the first half. It was ridiculous,” Evans said.
There are no special plans for the Fire, he said. As long as they execute, everything will be fine.
“We’ll take care of business. Offense and defense just needs to execute,” he said.
Last week, the Skyhawks played without kicker Dan Kleckner, who was away on business. He won’t be available this week either. Evans said they will go for the 2-point conversion after touchdowns and other players will handle the kickoffs.
Kleckner will be back with the Skyhawks when they travel to Boise to play the Idaho Horsemen on Saturday, June 15.
Evans knows the winless Fire will come in hungry.
“They’ll be hungry but we want to starve them out,” Evans said. “Their offense is real basic. Nothing complex at all. Their defense is okay. They play hard. If we execute and play the way we are capable, they should not be stopping our offense.”
Game time is 7 p.m. at the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee.