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PRO FOOTBALL : Oilers 'Find a Way to Win,' 31-29 : They Score 17 Points in Final 5 Minutes to Beat Bengals

November 02, 1987| From Times Wire Services

CINCINNATI — Warren Moon, who directed a 17-point comeback Sunday in the final five minutes of Houston's 31-29 victory over Cincinnati, says the Oilers believe they own the final quarter of any game.

"We've won three games so far this year coming from behind in the fourth quarter," Moon said. "We think the fourth quarter is ours. We're developing a new slogan on the Oilers: 'Find a way to win.' "

Houston trailed, 29-14, with under six minutes remaining, but completed their comeback with Moon's one-yard keeper with 55 seconds left.

"It did look like it was out of reach," Moon said. "But we didn't panic. I think that was the key. We didn't panic because we've been through this so much."

Said Bengal Coach Sam Wyche: "It's hard to put your finger on how it got away."

Curtis Duncan started the rally by returning a kickoff 62 yards to set up Tony Zendejas' 47-yard field goal with 5:38 remaining that cut the Bengals' lead to 29-17.

"Curtis' kickoff return juiced us up and got us believing," Moon said. "And Zendejas' field goal was very important because if he doesn't make it, we don't have a chance to win."

Barney Bussey fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Ken Johnson recovered for Houston on the Cincinnati 21. Moon scrambled for 20 yards to the one-yard line, from where Spencer Tillman bulled over to pull the Oilers within 29-24.

"Our plan on that kickoff was for our first man to reach the ball carrier to stand him up and for the second man to rip the ball out," Houston Coach Jerry Glanville said.

Houston held, and Bengal punter Greg Horne shanked a 19-yarder to the Cincinnati 45. Moon passed 33 yards to Drew Hill, then ran seven yards to the one two plays later.

After Tillman was stopped for no gain on two carries, Moon leaped over the top of the Cincinnati defensive line on third down for the game-winning touchdown.

"We were having a tough time moving the Cincinnati defensive line, so I decided to go over the top," Moon said. "I went right over our best offensive lineman--Mike Munchak."

On Cincinnati's next play, a Boomer Esiason pass was intercepted by Keith Bostic at midfield.

It was the third straight game that the Cincinnati regulars lost in the closing seconds.

"There seems to be a dark cloud over this team," Esiason said. "Maybe we need an exorcist."

The victory upped AFC Central Division leading Houston's record to 5-2, while last-place Cincinnati slipped to 2-5.

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