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Young back in Houston, lifts Titans in OT

HOUSTON (Dec. 10, 2006) -- Vince Young blew kisses and high-fived fans before pointing to a sign that read: "VY Wish You Were Here."

The Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback couldn't have scripted a homecoming as sweet. Young ran for a 39-yard touchdown in overtime to give Tennessee a 26-20 win over the Houston Texans for a third straight comeback victory and fourth win in a row.

Young said Titans owner Bud Adams approached him after the game and asked what he was thinking on the winning run.

"I just told him I felt like my mom was chasing me with a belt," Young joked.

The former University of Texas star, who grew up just six miles from the stadium, ran into the end zone virtually untouched and then jumped into the stands to the open arms of a throng of burnt orange-clad fans. He waved to a crowd that had cheered the Texans most of the game, but went wild when he scored.

"I just saw the lane and used my God-given talent to make something happen," Young said. "How it opened up, I just kept going."

Young, who led the Titans to a 28-22 win over Houston earlier this year, once again showed up the team that passed him over in the draft. Houston chose defensive end Mario Williams with the No. 1 overall pick because it already had David Carr.

"You don't say it's personal, but this was kind of personal because the team went out and went against everyone and got the defensive player (in the draft)," said Texans defensive end N.D. Kalu. "This was our chance to prove to the city that we made the right choice."

But once again they weren't able to do it.

Two weeks ago, the Titans (6-7) rallied from a 21-0 deficit in the final 9½ minutes to beat the Giants. Last week, Rob Bironas ' 60-yard field goal in the final seconds beat Indianapolis.

This time they only had to rally from an eight-point deficit.

"Once again, like in the last month, every Sunday, I stand up here and say: 'Wow, we found another way to do it,"' said Titans coach Jeff Fisher.

Young's winning score came on third-and-14; the Titans' great field position came thanks to a 36-yard kickoff return by Adam "Pacman" Jones.

Young was 19 of 29 for 218 yards passing, and he ran for another 86 yards.

"It was a great ending, just being from Houston," Young said. "And then being in front of my family ... it doesn't get any better than that."

Carr and the Texans (4-9) had a chance to regain the lead late in regulation, but stalled and settled for a 46-yard field goal by Kris Brown that tied it at 20 with 2:09 remaining. The Texans got the ball back in the final moments of the fourth quarter, but chose to run out the clock.

"It's an empty feeling," Carr said. "It's a loss. It hurts us ... but we've got to move on. We can't just hang our heads."

After the draft, still stung by the Texans not picking him, Young said he was looking forward to returning to Houston and beating the Texans. In Week 14, he was decidedly more subdued about the subject when asked if the game was personal.

"Somewhat and somewhat not. I really feel like the Tennessee Titans are the hometown team -- the Oilers," he said.

The Titans trailed 14-13 before Young engineered a 15-play, 88-yard drive ending with a 2-yard run by Travis Henry to give Tennessee its first lead of the second half, 20-17.

Young and Drew Bennett earlier connected on a 39-yard pass that got the Titans to the Houston 21. Henry cut to the outside and ran for the 9-yard touchdown three plays later to cut Houston's lead to 14-13.

Young was solid most of the game, with his only big mistake coming with the Titans down by one point early in the fourth quarter. He slipped and fell to the ground, but got up and threw the ball as he was being hit by C.C. Brown. Demarcus Faggins intercepted, but the Texans got only a field goal that made it 17-13 after the offense stalled once again.

Houston's offense didn't do much until Ron Dayne entered in the second quarter. He handled the ball on eight of Houston's nine plays and scored his first touchdown as a Texan on a 1-yard run to give Houston a 7-6 lead.

Dayne helped the Texans extend their lead on a 2-yard touchdown on the first drive after halftime. He finished with 21 carries for 87 yards and his first multi-touchdown game since 2002 when he was with the Giants. Dayne ran for 95 yards against Oakland last week to help the Texans win in a game the team had negative yards passing.

Carr was 17 of 23 for 140 yards, but was unable to come through when the Texans needed a touchdown.

The Titans' only points of the first half were field goals of 41 and 33 yards.

Notes: Titans right guard Benji Olson missed his first game since 2004 with back spasms. ... Bennett had six receptions for 113 yards.

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