INDIANAPOLIS — Reserve fullback George Wonsley, pressed into service because of an injury to starting fullback Randy McMillan, rushed for a career-high 170 yards while powering the Indianapolis Colts to a 14-6 victory over the Detroit Lions Sunday.
The victory was Rod Dowhower's first as an NFL head coach, while Lion Coach Darryl Rogers suffered his first NFL setback.
In addition to his 27 carries, Wonsley caught 5 passes for 32 yards.
"Wonsley looked like a great NFL back," Rogers said. "He ran over us, through us and around us. He did all the things you have to do to be a good running back."
Rogers was less than enthusiastic about his team's performance.
"We played so poorly offensively and defensively," he said. "We didn't throw properly, catch properly or tackle properly.
"All the things we had to do offensively, we didn't do. That put a great burden on the defense. It was just a poorly executed game. That's what it boils down to and I take some of the blame for that."
Frank Middleton's one-yard touchdown run with 46 seconds left sealed the victory for the Colts, whose defense recorded five sacks.
Indianapolis led, 7-3, at halftime, having reached the end zone with just 53 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Owen Gill, making his NFL debut, ran four yards to the Detroit one-yard line. On the next play, the former University of Iowa standout followed a block into the end zone. The play capped a 66-yard, 11-play drive.
The Lions' points came on two first-half field goals of 35 and 37 yards by Eddie Murray.
Wonsley, who had only 159 career yards in 16 previous games, helped the Colts control the game. His 170 yards are the fifth-highest single-game performance in Colt history.
Norm Bulaich, Alan Ameche, Lenny Moore and Lydell Mitchell are the only Colts to run for more yardage in a single game. Bulaich heads the list with a 198-yard performance against the New York Jets on Sept. 19, 1971.
Wonsley's performance was the best by a Colt since Mitchell rushed for 178 against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 30, 1975.