Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAGGERNAUT; Scobee Field Goal Caps Another Frantic Finish

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAGGERNAUT; Scobee Field Goal Caps Another Frantic Finish

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO, The Times-Union

INDIANAPOLIS -- And the Byron Leftwich legend continues to grow.

The Jaguars' young quarterback passed his biggest test yet when he won a shootout with Peyton Manning, and rookie Josh Scobee kicked a 53-yard field goal with 38 seconds left Sunday to give the Jaguars a 27-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

The win lifted the Jaguars (5-2) into first place in the AFC South, ahead of the Colts (4-2).

Leftwich passed for 300 yards and two touchdowns while trumping Manning, who threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns, to win the wild duel between the two gunslingers in which each team scored on every possession in the final quarter before the Colts ran out of time.

Yet the biggest throw may have been a rifle strike by the former catcher from Southern Cal, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio, who saved four critical points in the fourth quarter when he tossed the red challenge flag out onto the field. He threw it when the Colts were quickly lining up for an extra point after Marvin Harrison appeared to make a touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.

Del Rio heeded the advice of defensive end Greg Favors, who saw that Harrison had stepped on the back line of the end zone before coming back in bounds to make the catch. That made him an ineligible receiver.

"I was doing everything in my power to get to the sidelines as fast as I could [to tell Del Rio] because, of course, they weren't showing any replays on the JumboTron," Favors said.

"It was close," Del Rio said when asked if the referee saw the flag before the Colts attempted the extra point. "It was fortunate I got it out there in front of the referee. If they had [seen it] after the play had run, it would have been, 'Hey, tough luck.' ''

Referee Terry McAulay reversed the call, nullified the touchdown and the Colts had to settle for a field goal and a 17-16 lead instead of 21-16.

That challenge will likely become part of the lore of this season for a team that has scored the winning points four times in the final 45 seconds.

The Colts would have taken what amounted to a three-game lead had they won. Instead, the Jaguars moved to the top and will probably duel with the Colts for the division title during the second half of the season.

"I tell the team all the time that as you win these kind of games, they get bigger [in the future]," Del Rio said. "It's a big swing in terms of Indianapolis not having a big advantage over us."

It also vindicated the bold style of play that Del Rio coaches as he refuses to be cautious and play the percentages.

In the third quarter, he passed up a field goal and went for it on fourth-and-inches at the Colts' 2 only to have Leftwich fumble the snap.

"My thoughts were to take a shot, be aggressive, be the more physical team and win that battle in the trenches and punch it in," Del Rio said. …

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