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Brunell connects with Moss for 68-yard TD in OT

Oct 1, 2006 - 11:53 PM LANDOVER, Maryland (Ticker) -- Mark Brunell completed a trifecta against his former team.

Brunell threw his third touchdown pass of the game to Santana Moss, a 68-yard connection 1:49 into overtime, to lift the Washington Redskins to a thrilling 36-30 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in an interconference battle.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Brunell started 120 games for the Jaguars from 1995-2003 and led the franchise to two AFC championship games and four playoff appearances. He holds almost every major passing record for the franchise.

Brunell was traded to Washington in March 2004 for a third-round pick. On Sunday, he got to face his former team for the first time.

The 36-year-old Brunell enjoyed a huge afternoon, completing 18-of-30 passes for 329 yards and three scores, the last of which was the biggest.

"My experience in Jacksonville was great," Brunell said. "I can't say enough about that organization. It was great to see some old friends. The memories I have from my nine years there will last forever."

On the first possession of the extra session, Brunell found the speedy Moss, who got behind cornerback Brian Williams along the left sideline. Moss caught the pass in stride and raced to the end zone. Moss finished with four catches for 138 yards.

"It kind of related to something I told (Brunell) earlier in the game, 'Just throw the ball up. I'm not saying that I'm going to come down with all of them, but just give me a chance,'" Moss said. "And that's what Mark did."

"I threw the ball a little high," Brunell said. "Santana made a nice play and cut inside and we won. It was an exciting way to end the football game."

The Jaguars doubled covered Moss on the play, but he split between Williams and safety Deon Grant to get to Brunell's perfectly thrown pass.

"It's a game of inches," Williams said. "He threw a perfect ball and he fit it right in there. It wasn't nothing special. A good throw. A good catch."

"It was right in front of me," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "We knew when they brought in (number) 89 that we were going to double him. We doubled him. Didn't get much of a jam on him. I think maybe the safety thought he could intercept the ball. And neither guy makes the play there and it leads to a big, explosive touchdown to lose the game on."

Moss drew praise from Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs.

"He is one of the biggest playmakers I've ever seen," Gibbs said. "Every time he gets the ball in his hands, it's a threat to have him go with it. I thought for sure he was going to be tackled but somehow he got away and scored with it."

Clinton Portis rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown for the Redskins (2-2), who have won two straight following an 0-2 start.

Byron Leftwich, who replaced Brunell as the starter in Jacksonville, engineered an 11-play, 44-yard drive late in regulation to get the game to overtime. The march featured a 13-yard completion to Ernest Wilford on 4th-and-8 to the Washington 37.

After Leftwich completed another pass to Wilford to move the Jaguars closer, Josh Scobee kicked a 41-yard field goal with six seconds remaining to tie the game at 30-30.

"I thought Byron did a great job of leading us back and giving us an opportunity," Del Rio said. "Scobee made clutch kicks. You talk about bouncing back, every time he lined up to kick, we got points. We just fell short on the point total."

Leftwich completed 21-of-35 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.

"For some reason, y'all believe that we can't do it," Leftwich said. "But when we have to, we do it. We can only do it when we have to do it. We would like to go out and score 30 points every week but sometimes 30-something is not needed. Sometimes it's nine. We just fell short."

Reggie Williams had five catches for 93 yards and two scores for the Jaguars (2-2), who dropped their second straight game.

"We knew it could've been a shootout," Williams said. "They have Pro-Bowl caliber receivers and a running back and a tight end, and we have the same things on our side. So we knew it could turn out to be a shootout and it did. They just had one more bullet than us."

In a game that featured plenty of momentum changes, the Jaguars built a 17-13 halftime lead on two touchdown passes by Leftwich. Leftwich threw a 33-yard TD pass to Williams in the first quarter and connected with rookie Maurice Jones-Drew for a 51-yard score in the second quarter.

However, the Redskins stormed back in the second half to take a double-digit lead. Portis started the comeback with a one-yard touchdown run with 2:29 left in the third quarter that gave the Redskins a 20-17 lead.

While Portis helped the Redskins pile up 152 rushing yards, the Jaguars managed just 33 on 15 attempts.

Defensive end Phillip Daniels had an interception on the Jaguars' ensuing possession, setting up Brunell's eight-yard TD pass to Moss with 12:24 remaining in the fourth quarter for a 27-17 advantage.

Leftwich quickly led a four-play, 82-yard drive that he capped with a 21-yard TD pass over the middle to Williams with 10:20 left.

"As an offense, we knew we were productive," Williams said. "It was never a struggle. We never had doubts about the offense or the play-calling or nothing. We were hitting where we needed to hit it today. We stuck with it and we made plays. We just came up a little short at the end - couldn't finish it off."

The Jaguars' defense quickly set the offense back up when free safety Deon Grant recovered a fumble by Brandon Lloyd inside the Washington 24.

However, the Jaguars had to settle for Scobee's 43-yard field goal with 6:40 left.

John Hall kicked his third field goal, a 37-yarder with 1:55 left to give the Redskins a 30-27 lead.

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