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Oilers Deliver a Pay Back to Colts, 31-17 : Houston Owed One to Indianapolis for Humiliating 1985 Setback

November 24, 1986| From Times Wire Services

HOUSTON — Memories inspired the Houston Oilers Sunday.

Warren Moon threw two of his three touchdown passes within a minute to spark the Oilers past the winless Colts, 31-17, avenging a defeat last season Houston promised not to forget.

Indianapolis (0-12) has not won since a 34-16 victory over the Oilers in the final game of 1985.

"They had us by three touchdowns and were still throwing the bomb in the final minute of the game last year," Houston Coach Jerry Glanville said. "Revenge was on everyone's mind."

Moon completed 22 of 35 passes for 294 yards and touchdown throws of 35, 8 and 4 yards to spark the Oilers (3-9).

"The win keeps us from being embarrassed," said Moon, who was intercepted twice. "We certainly didn't want to be the team to give them their first win. We had them down. We just weren't able to put them away early."

Moon's primary target was rookie Ernest Givins, who caught 7 passes for 102 yards.

"His athletic ability amazes me," Moon said. "I can throw a bad ball and he'll still go up and get it."

Colt rookie quarterback Jack Trudeau was 9 of 21 for 51 yards with 1 interception. He suffered a bruised right shoulder late in the third quarter and did not return.

Moon completed his first four passes of the second half for 52 yards to move Houston to the Indianapolis 19, from where Mike Rozier scored on a 19-yard touchdown run with 6:54 left.

On the Oilers' next possession, Moon threw a screen pass to rookie Ray Wallace, who followed blocks by Kent Hill and Dean Steinkuhler for a 35-yard scoring play that pushed the Oilers ahead, 24-3.

Owen Gill fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Houston's Audrey McMillian recovered and returned the ball four yards to the Colt 11. Two plays later, Moon tossed an eight-yard scoring strike to Drew Hill with 3:12 left in the third quarter. That gave the Oilers 21 points in a span of 3:42.

Indianapolis scored its touchdowns in the final 36 seconds. Blair Kiel, who was 7 of 15 for 146 yards, threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to rookie Bill Brooks and, after Indianapolis recovered an onside kick, Kiel lofted a 37-yarder to Brooks.

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