KENNEWICK -- No one in the Mid-Columbia won the Mega Millions lottery Friday night -- someone in Maryland got lucky -- but that didn't mean the Tri-Cities Fever didn't hit the jackpot.
Try these numbers on for size: 1, 4, 5, 10 and 27 with a Mega win record of 5-0 for the Fever, which beat the visiting Wyoming Cavalry 62-41 in an Indoor Football League contest in front of 4,019 fans at the Toyota Center.
The first number, 1, is the jersey number of Fever running back Dennis Kennedy, who slashed through the Wyoming defense for 54 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
"We know Wyoming was coming in to fight, trying to rebuild their season," said Kennedy, who felt the offense was moving the ball well again. "The way we're playing, it doesn't feel like we're playing an indoor game. It feels like we're outdoors."
Never miss a local story.
The number 4 was for the turnovers the Fever forced the Cavalry offense to make -- an interception and 35-yard return for a touchdown by linebacker Brandon Wilson; another pick by DB Marquise Liverpool; a forced fumble by DB Rudell Crim, and another forced by Boris Lee on a kickoff. Both fumbles were recoverd by Tri-Cities linebacker Joe Thornton, the second one for a touchdown.
The number 5 is Fever quarterback Houston Lillard, who ran the offense to the tune of 235 total yards, 161 of them passing, with one rushing touchdown and three passing.
Lillard, in fact, spread the ball out to three receivers -- Edward Berry (6 catches,
79 yards, 1 TD), Steven Whitehead (5-41-2) and Tre Young (4-41-0), the standout from last season making his 2012 debut for the Fever.
"It's hard trying to keep everyone involved," Lillard said. "Giovanni Stanley (knee) was hurt and not playing tonight. We know we're in trouble when we get Gio back."
But the defense had as much to do with this win, stopping Wyoming on four of its seven offensive possessions in the first half.
That's why the last two numbers are 10 (defensive lineman Darius Collins) and 27 (Wilson).
Collins had two sacks and, along with Jake Killeen, put good pressure on Cavalry quarterback Matt Strand all night.
"They were giving up the middle (of the line) and the defensive line worked hard to get penetration on the quarterback," Collins said. "We knew he would try to hit the short routes so we had to get there."
Wilson's interception and return for a touchdown was a classic, in that it looked like he would be stopped a couple of different times before he dives toward the end zone and just got the ball in for the score.
It happened with 8:15 left in the first quarter and was part of 16-point outburst by the Fever after spotting the Cavalry a 6-0 lead.
"The play happened so quick and the end zone looked so far away," Wilson said. "I just kept my feet moving."
Wilson made the key play on Wyoming's next series, when he blitzed and sacked Strand in the end zone for a safety.
Tri-Cities would never trail at that point.
And in fact the Fever had runs of 20-0 and 13-0 later in the game to get its margin for victory.
"I thought that as a team we had a chance to prove something to go 5-0," said Fever coach Adam Shackleford.
Still, it wasn't a perfect game.
Here's another number, one that Shackleford didn't care for: 104, as in Fever penalty yards.
"We fought through adversity," he said. "For some reason we had a lot of penalties."
Notes: Fever center Will Falakiseni was ejected in the second half and may have to miss next Friday's game at New Mexico. ... Strand had 190 yards passing for five touchdowns for the Cavalry, extending his league lead to 25. ... Jasonus Tillery, last week's IFL offensive player of the week, had 8 catches for 72 yards and three touchdowns for the Cavalry, now 1-4.