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San Diego Chargers 28 - Dallas Cowboys 20
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After a slow start which saw the Dallas Cowboys jump out to a 10-0 lead at halftime, the San Diego Chargers rallied for 28 points in the second half to come away with the victory.
Charlie Whitehurst had a fast start in his preseason debut, marching the home team down the field to start the second half. The drive eventually ended on a beautiful strike to Vincent Brown. Unfortunately, Brown suffered broken left ankle on the play and had to be carted off with the Cowboys leading 10-7.
Dallas went up 13-7 on a 49-yard Dan Bailey field goal, and the visitors were on the verge of extending their lead before the Chargers defense came up with a huge play. On fourth-and-nine, Shareece Wright had a tremendous 73-yard interception, and two plays later Jackie Battle plunged into the end zone from two yards out to put the Bolts up 14-13.
After forcing a punt, the Chargers drove down the field again, culminating the possession with a 38-yard touchdown strike from Whitehurst to Mike Willie. Jacob Hester would add another score for the home team after Wright forced a fumble, giving the home team a 28-13 lead. The Cowboys scored one late, but they failed to recover the onside kick and the game ended 28-20.
Two plays after a marvelous interception return from Shareece Wright, Charlie Whitehurst gave the ball to Jackie Battle who took flight. Looking like he belonged in the Olympics as a long jumper, he dove over the Cowboy’s defensive line into the end zone to give the Bolts a 14-13 lead. San Diego wouldn’t trail for the rest of the game en route to the victory.
It Was Over When…
After Shareece Wright forced a fumble with a monstrous sack of Stephen McGee, the Chargers drove a short distance down the field to the three-yard line on a trio of runs by Edwin Baker. After a one-yard loss, Jacob Hester took the hand-off and dragged the Dallas defenders into the end zone to put the home team up 28-13, securing the victory.
Play of the Game
On a pivotal fourth-and-nine on the San Diego 35-yard line, DeAndre Presley tipped the ball into the hands of Shareece Wright. The second year corner showed tremendous speed and some wonderful moves on a 73-yard return, dodging defenders left and right before finally being tripped up at the Dallas two-yard line.
Stat of the Game
Charlie Whitehurst starred in his first game back in a Chargers uniform. The seven-year pro completed seven of 12 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the game with a passer rating of 132.6.
“We have a lot of work to do. The great thing about it is our guys are working as hard as any group I’ve been around. They’re as focused as any group I’ve been around.” – Norv Turner
“I haven’t played in an NFL game since October. It felt good and I’ll feel more comfortable after the game for sure.” – Charlie Whitehurst
“I ran my corner pump and he threw it. I had to get (the touchdown) because who knows when the next one is coming, so I had to get it.” – Mike Willie
"It was just me coming off the ball (to get the sack). In practice, I feel like I'm going against some of the best tackles in the game, and that (helps) me work hard to get to the quarterback." - Melvin Ingram
Odds and Ends
Atari Bigby, Malcom Floyd, Corey Liuget, Randy McMichael and Micheal Spurlock served as captains for tonight’s game.
Garrett Brown, Brandyn Dombrowski, Jared Gaither, Antonio Garay, Marcus Gilchrist, Ryan Mathews, Eddie Royal, Darrell Stuckey and Johnnie Troutman did not dress for the match.
The Chargers won despite losing the time of possession battle to Dallas, who held the ball for 34:21 compared to San Diego’s 25:39.
The Bolts were efficient on third down, converting six of nine attempts compared to Dallas who only made three of 13 tries.
Jacob Hester had a solid start and finish to the night…he opened the game with a special teams tackle inside the 20, forcing Dallas to begin their initial drive from their own 13-yard line and he closed the night with a four-yard touchdown run for the Chargers’ final points in the 28-20 win.
Melvin Ingram helped end consecutive Dallas drives on the third quarter…on the first, he and Kendall Reyes combined to a tackle for no gain on a 3rd-and-1, and on the second, he racked up a 13-yard sack on a 2nd-and-8 that led to a Dallas punt two plays later…it was Ingram’s first sack of the preseason.
The game served as the team’s Salute to Youth Football.
Dallas will stay in town for a pair of practices with the Chargers on Monday and Tuesday.
Tonight’s attendance was 53,381. Read