NFL preseason: Giants 24, Panthers 17
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Tom Coughlin and John Fox met at midfield and shared a laugh.
What else could the two coaches do after seeing the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers preseason game end on a bizarre play as the clock ran out.
Defensive end Tommie Hill scored on a stunning 18-yard fumble return on the final play from scrimmage and the Giants scored a 24-17 victory over the Panthers on Monday night.
“Kind of an interesting ending,” said Fox, who was still smiling even though his team lost.
Stunning. Shocking. Unexpected. Pick a word. They all would fit.
Fourth-string quarterback Hunter Cantwell had tied the game with 57 seconds to play, taking Carolina on an 88-yard drive. He ran for 21 yards and passed for 67 on the five-play drive that ended with a 31-yard scoring pass to Jason Chery and a 2-point conversion pass to Andrew Davie.
The Giants had a three-and-out series and Jeff Feagles punted 56 yards to the Carolina 18 with 10 seconds to play.
Instead of taking a knee, Cantwell went back to pass on the next play and his arm was hit by Leger Douzable. The ball went in the air and Hill grabbed it and scurried into the left corner of the end zone for a shocking ending.
“I’ve never seen a game end like that,,” Hill said.
It was the first touchdown for free agent rookie from Colorado State since high school and he kept the ball.
“I’m just a rookie trying to make the team,” Hill added. “Anything like that that helps the team win in turn helps me. It was just a fortunate situation and I made the most of it.”
The same holds true for Douzable, a second-year pro trying to earn a spot on a very talented line.
“Everybody figured on defense they would take a knee,” Douzable said. “When they snapped it, I put a move on the guard. I saw the QB with the ball in his hand and I got it.”
And the Giants and Panthers ended up avoiding overtime.
“Both sides have a lot of work, but we have time. We have three weeks” Fox said.
The Giants had led almost the entire game, scoring on a 19-yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw, a 36-yard screen pass from David Carr to halfback Danny Ware and a 46-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes. New York also forced five turnovers.