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Pro Football Week 11 | JACKSONVILLE 29, TAMPA BAY 24

In Long Run, This Jaguar Dependable

November 16, 1998|From Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Fred Taylor is almost always good for one big play per game. He broke loose for a big one at the right time on Sunday.

The Jacksonville rookie running back squirted to the sideline en route to a a 70-yard touchdown with 2:40 remaining to lift the Jaguars to a 29-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It was his third touchdown of the game, one he celebrated in style, gyrating with the goal post as the Jaguars (8-2) won their third in a row and took a two-game lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Central.

"He's a great addition to our team," Jaguar Coach Tom Coughlin said of the first-round draft pick out of Florida. "You might stop him a few times, but at some point, he'll come free, and when he does . . . "

Taylor has touchdown runs of 52, 70 and 77 yards and has also had a 78-yard scoring play after a reception.

Taylor finished with 128 yards in 21 carries to tie the Jaguars' single-game rushing record he set Sept. 20 against Baltimore.

The run was eerily familiar for the Buccaneers (4-6), who allowed Oiler quarterback Steve McNair to go 71 yards for a touchdown late in last week's 31-22 loss to Tennessee.

The Buccaneers lost their seventh straight road game.

Before Taylor's game breaker, it looked like Tampa Bay's combination of Trent Dilfer and Reidel Anthony would be enough to give the Jaguars their first home loss of the season.

They teamed up for a 47-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter to cut Jacksonville's lead to 14-10.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Dilfer connected with Anthony for a short completion that the receiver turned into a 79-yard touchdown by outrunning Travis Davis and Aaron Beasley.

It gave the Buccaneers a 24-20 lead, and Anthony celebrated with a long dance punctuated by a pelvic thrust toward the crowd, the same one Taylor--a former teammate of Anthony's at Florida--would mock minutes later.

"I've still got to find a good dance," Taylor said. "But Reidel helped me with his. You all saw his."

After Mike Hollis' field goal pulled the Jaguars within 24-23, they forced the Buccaneers to go three-and-out.

On the first play after the punt, Taylor scooted up the middle past a fallen John Lynch, then moved to the left sideline and outran safety Charles Mincy for his 11th touchdown of the season.

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