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MINNESOTA 16, CAROLINA 13 (OT)

Longwell Lends a Foot, and Hand

September 18, 2006|From the Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Ryan Longwell caught the pitch, rolled right, let the ball go and connected with tight end Richard Owens for the tying score.

Behind Longwell's three field goals and a clutch touchdown pass on a fake -- plus a defense that forced nine punts -- the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Carolina Panthers, 16-13, Sunday in overtime.

Longwell's 16-yard toss to Owens, the first touchdown pass of his career, tied the score in the fourth quarter. Then his 19-yard kick with 7 minutes 25 seconds left in overtime lifted the Vikings.

"Ten years in, I finally got one," said a grinning Longwell, who also made field goals from 22 and 27 yards.

That special-teams trick by Minnesota (2-0) trumped the one used by Carolina (0-2), which had a 13-6 lead with 10 minutes left in regulation before Coach John Fox called for a throwback pass by returner Chris Gamble that ended poorly for the Panthers.

Gamble caught the punt, ran left and was swarmed, but stayed with the plan and threw the ball. It bounced before it got to Richard Marshall, and . Will Hunter forced Marshall to fumble.

Jason Glenn recovered for Minnesota at the 21-yard line, giving the Vikings a chance to show off their sneakiness four plays later.

The Panthers have scored only 19 points in two games.

"It's disappointing, but nobody feels sorry for us," said Jake Delhomme, who was 17 for 33 passing for 181 yards. "You have to go back to work and try to get better."

Minnesota's Chester Taylor carried 24 times for 113 yards, and Troy Williamson had six catches for 102 yards. Brad Johnson was 19 for 31 for 243 yards. One of his passes was intercepted, the Vikings' first turnover this season.

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