EVERETT — Having snapped a two-game season-opening losing streak with a win in their last outing, the Everett Raptors will try to even their season record tonight when they play host to the Tri-Cities Fever in a 7:05 p.m. Indoor Football League game at Comcast Arena.
You might call it a chance for revenge, since it was Tri-Cities that thumped the Raptors 70-44 in the season’s first game. But Everett coach Sean Ponder sees tonight’s rematch differently.
“You never want to say payback,” Ponder said. “Obviously this is an in-state rivalry. Tri-Cities and Everett, no matter what the sport is, no matter what the teams are, it’s a rivalry. And now we want to make sure we take care of business on our turf.
“Winning our home games is as important as anything,” he said. “So it’s not about payback. We have the ability to beat just about anybody in this league, and now we need to go out and do that.”
Quarterback Blake Bolles sparked Everett in its 68-50 win at Wyoming on March 11, passing for four touchdowns and running for four more TDs. He has helped plug the hole caused when starter Charles McCullum went down in the opening game with an ankle injury that could cause him to miss the rest of the season.
“When you lose one of the top quarterbacks in the league, and probably the most electrifying player in the league, it’s tough,” Ponder said. “But there wasn’t one guy that hung his head. They all said, ‘OK, next guy up, let’s get it done.’
“This team is going to rally around whoever the guy is pulling the trigger,” he said.
Getting the win at Wyoming was a big step, Ponder went on, “and it kind of shows we’re on the right track. And now we’re back home against a team we feel we match up pretty well with.”