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Chargers D Forces Clutch Turnover

Posted Sep 29, 2013

The Bolts defense came up big with a clutch turnover.

Together, they've been Chargers for a month and a half.  Separately, they ended the Cowboys comeback hopes with a one-two knockout punch.

Crezdon Butler and Richard Marshall became the unlikely defensive heroes in Sunday's game against Dallas.  Butler, who was in coverage for the game-deciding touchdown last week in Nashville, whacked the ball out of receiver Terrance Williams' hands against Dallas.  And Marshall, who's been deployed primarily on special teams during his short time in Chargers' blue, recovered the fumble that ended a last-ditch scoring threat.

"To come up with a turnover at the end of the game like we did -- that's what it's all about,"  coach Mike McCoy said. "Those plays helped us finish today."

The Cowboys were anything but finished before the game's most pivotal play.

Tony Romo and the Cowboys were positioned to make the game a one-point affair after an 11-play drive placed them on the Bolts' seven yard line.  The twelfth play promised to get the 'Boys even closer when the rookie Williams caught a ball over the middle for six yards.

Eric Weddle corralled Williams' legs leaving enough time for Butler to clean up.  His tackle was timely; it punched the ball out of Williams' grasp just seconds before his outstretched arm could've crossed the plane.

Butler's reaction was proved pivotal. Where he hung his head in disappointment a week ago when Justin Hunter fought through his good coverage for a touchdown last week. This week, he pried himself off the pile onto Williams and raised his arms in triumph.

"I think it showed my teammates I can be on the field when plays need to be made," Butler said.  "Last week was tough, but I had to move on from that."

Marshall had to have the same short memory when he came to San Diego.  The veteran has been on a new team at the start of every season since 2011.  He had even less time to adjust this season when he signed with the Bolts on August 23.

He certainly made the most of his opportunity on Sunday.  He subbed in for an injured Derek Cox, and when Butler jarred the ball loose, Marshall fell on it.

"It honestly just felt good to play today," Marshall said. "Just being here, and having a guy like Weddle talk you through the defense and get you in position helped me learn and today I got the chance to make a play. It feels good."

It felt even better for Marshall and Butler to watch what happened next.  The Bolts offense retook the field and gave the team its second win by bleeding the clock.  The Cowboys couldn't mount two scoring drives in the short time they had when they got back on the field.

"Today was an opportunity for guys to make plays," said McCoy about players like Butler and Marshall.  "Guys kept stepping up."

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