Houston Lillard's quarterback sneak from 5 yards out with 19.3 seconds remaining gave the Tri-Cities Fever a 54-48 Indoor Football League victory over the host Everett Raptors on Thursday night at Comcast arena.
The victory gives the Fever a first-ever 4-0 start, and sits Coach Adam Shackleford's team atop the Intense Conference.
"It was ugly from the start, it was ugly to the end," said Shackleford. "But our guys battled, and their guys battled."
The Fever couldn't get untracked in the first half, and it trailed 27-20 at intermission to the Raptors (1-3).
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But the Tri-Cities defense shut out Everett in the third quarter to get back into the game, tying it at 27-all.
"Coach talked to us at halftime," said Fever linebacker Brandon Wilson. "That (third quarter) was big for us."
The teams traded the lead in the fourth quarter, until it was 48-48 with 2:06 to play.
Lillard moved the team downfield, chewing up the clock until he had a 2nd-and-5 goal-line situation.
From there, he dived into the end zone for the winning score.
Blake Bolles tried to get the Raptors going at the end of the game, but the Everett quarterback was sacked at midfield by Tri-Cities' Jake Killeen, Wilson and Bailey Johnsen as time expired.
Lillard finished with five TD passes for the Fever, while Dennis Kennedy rushed for 71 yards.
Steven Whitehead caught 11 passes for 107 yards and three touchdowns.
The Fever plays host to the Wyoming Cavalry at the Toyota Center on March 30.