One play after defensive tackle Trevor Pryce forced a fumble, Olandis Gary (Riverdale Baptist High School) ran 24 yards for a touchdown, lifting the Denver Broncos to a 27-21 overtime victory against the Oakland Raiders tonight.
Pryce sacked Rich Gannon, forcing a fumble and recovering it at the Raiders 24, and on the next play, Gary bolted off the left side for the clinching score 2 minutes 40 seconds into the extra period.
"It was a lucky bounce, our first lucky bounce all year long," Pryce said. "It just laid right there. I don't know how it happened that way, but I'm glad it did. We chased him a lot."
Gary said the huge hole off the left side on his winning run was "unbelievable, because it was hard getting yards all day."
Jason Elam kicked two fourth-quarter field goals, including a 53-yarder with seven seconds left in regulation, to produce a tie at 21.
Darrien Gordon's 25-yard punt return had set up Michael Husted's 44-yard field goal with 1:17 left, giving the Raiders a 21-18 lead.
But the Broncos (4-7) then went 36 yards in nine plays, including Brian Griese's three-yard pass to Rod Smith on fourth and one, allowing Elam to force overtime.
Griese replaced starter Chris Miller midway through the final quarter and promptly engineered a 42-yard drive that culminated in Elam's 38-yard field goal with 4:04 left, to tie the score at 18.
A questionable pass interference penalty against Oakland's Charles Woodson covering 31 yards was the key play on the drive. The ball appeared to be uncatchable and receiver Ed McCaffrey went to the ground with minimal contact, but got the call anyway.
Gordon's return appeared to clinch it for the Raiders (5-5), but the Broncos answered.
The Raiders overcame a 15-0 second-quarter deficit to take an 18-15 lead, thanks to two touchdown passes from Gannon.
The game was played in 26-degree weather and on a field dusted by light snow before the game, the remnants of a storm that dumped nine inches of snow on the Denver area since Sunday night.
The Broncos led 15-7 at halftime but squandered several scoring chances, failing to capitalize after taking possession on three straight series at the Oakland 40, Denver 48 and Denver 40.
After the game, Oakland offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy went into stands after being pelted with snowballs.
"I did something that was very unorthodox," Kennedy said. "I got hit by a number of snowballs and then got surrounded by a number of drunk fans and lost my temper."
The confrontation lasted a few minutes before Kennedy hopped a chain-link fence and returned to the field. After doing a postgame television show, Kennedy reported the incident to a Denver police officer.
"I filed charges against an individual. It was something I needed to do," said Kennedy, who is listed is as 6-foot-6 and 335 pounds.