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Pro Football / Week 10 | JACKSONVILLE 24, CINCINNATI

Jaguars Coast Again

November 09, 1998|From Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — They score big in the first half, then cruise to victory in the second. For the last two weeks, that's the way it has gone for the AFC Central-leading Jacksonville Jaguars.

Sparked by Tony Boselli's hustle and cornerback Aaron Beasley's 90-yard fumble return for a touchdown, Jacksonville took another big first-half lead on Sunday in a 24-11 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jaguar quarterback Mark Brunell strained his groin and was held out of the second half as a precautionary measure.

Jacksonville (7-2) took a 24-0 lead in the first half in much the same way it got ahead of the Baltimore Ravens, 42-7, by halftime last week in a 45-19 victory.

"Offensively, we weren't as consistent as I'd like to be," Jaguar Coach Tom Coughlin said. "There was no continuity. We didn't try to be ultra-conservative. It just turned out that way."

As they have all year, the bumbling Bengals (2-7) gave their opponent plenty of help.

With Cincinnati behind 17-0, cornerback Artrell Hawkins recovered a fumble by Brunell at Jacksonville 40. It looked as if Hawkins had a sure touchdown, but he started celebrating too soon, giving Boselli--all 330 pounds of him--enough time to catch him from behind at the 15.

Six plays later, Joel Smeenge forced Neil O'Donnell to fumble and Beasley scooped it up for the longest fumble return in the Jaguars' four-year history and a 24-0 lead.

In the second half, the Jaguars were content to have backup quarterback Jamie Martin hand the ball to Fred Taylor, who finished 118 yards and a touchdown in 27 carries.

Before Brunell left the game, he was five for 12 for 111 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Smith.

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