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The Jaguars kick their way to a victory when they need it most

The Jaguars thrilled all 63,111 fans when they needed it most by kicking their way to victory Oct 3.

Jacksonville advanced the ball on its last drive with 42 seconds left to the Colts 41 yard line, and kicker Josh Scobee made the game-winning 59-yard field goal, the longest in his career, and the third longest game-winning field goal ever recorded in NFL history. His longest before the game was 53 yards.

The Jags responded with enthusiasm after the Colts were first to score, running the ball on the Colts five times in a row by way of running back Maurice Jones-Drew for a total of 26 yards.

Two short passes and a run later, quarterback David Garrard took the ball for a 25-yard run to score the touchdown, that tied the game 7-7.

The Jaguars kicked the ball to the Colts, then stopped quarterback Peyton Manning and his offense from getting a first down. The Jags’ defense on the Colts’ second drive didn’t let anything through, forcing the Colts to punt. This defense set the tone for the game and inspired the fans to be the Jags 12th man.

The Jags defense proved itself the first half, by keeping the Colts’ offense to 14 points, and held the Colts scoreless in the third quarter. The only points in the third quarter came from a 15 yard touchdown pass from Garrard to tight end Mercedes Lewis to go ahead 21-14.

After the Jaguars scored with 2:13 seconds left in the game, it was the Colts last chance to even up the score. In Manning fashion, the Colts’ offense drove the ball down the throat of the Jags’ defense, and scored to tie the game 28-28 with 52 seconds left. The Jaguars obtained possession, moved the ball 18 yards to set up history in the making.

On second down with five seconds on the clock, the ball is set up for a 59 yard field goal attempt. Kicker Josh Scobee steps out on the field as the offense takes its place. The ball is hiked, kicked and hangs in the air like it’s already on ESPN’s slow-motion highlight reel. As the hearts of thousands of football fanatics beat out of their chests, the ball soars, heading towards the uprights. It goes in as the clock expires, making the final score 31-28.

Scobee knew it was going to come down to him at the end of the game, he said. He wanted to get it to at least the 40 yard line to have a chance at making the field goal. “I’ve never been that excited after a kick in my life,” Scobee said. This also marks the third time Scobee has made a game-winning field goal over 50 yards against the Colts. “This one, I just told myself, ‘stay calm, make a good clean strike and the ball should go through.’’’

A kicker can be one of the most important players on the team, as illustrated at the end of Sunday’s game.

“The only thing that goes through my head is excitement,” Scobee said.

“We were trying to get at least to the 35,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We got ourselves to the 41 and gave ourselves a shot at the winner.”

The Jaguars had a plan to try to defeat the Colts, which seemed to work. Their game plan was to run on the Colts’ defense.

“If you just look in the past, and the way teams have beaten the Colts, just look in the first week. The Texans pounded the ball the whole time,” Garrard said.

The Jags followed that blueprint, he said.

“When you get a sack and they don’t, those are good statistics, and when you’re winning those battles you typically win games and it definitely helped us win today,” Del Rio said. The Jaguars offensive line protected Garrard, disallowing the Colts to record any sacks.

Jacksonville improved its season record to 2-2.

“Throughout the whole game, and in particular at the end of the games like that, I am constantly telling myself, ‘stay focused, stay focused,’ because you never know when it will come down to me,” Scobee said. “And in that situation there wasn’t a bit of nerves running through my mind at all, it was just hit the ball clean and it will go through.”

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