Originally created 10/13/03

Panthers remain unbeaten

INDIANAPOLIS -- Carolina found another way to remain unbeaten Sunday.

Instead of giving the ball to Stephen Davis and watching him rumble over defenses, they got a 47-yard field goal by John Kasay 5:34 into overtime for a 23-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

A week after Peyton Manning led the Colts to a record-setting comeback over Tampa Bay on Monday night, the Colts (5-1) could not come up with a second straight overtime win.

DeShaun Foster ran for 85 yards, and set up Kasay for the winning field goal.

The Panthers (5-0) have now won seven straight dating to last season and are one of three remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL. The others are Kansas City (6-0) and Minnesota (5-0).

Carolina trailed early, then rallied in the second half with Davis - the NFC's leading rusher - spending most of the final 21 minutes on the bench after a fumble. A team spokesman said Davis bruised his arm although that was not the reason immediately given for his absence.

Yet with a capacity crowd chanting "Let's Go Colts" near the end of regulation and throughout overtime, Foster and the Panthers got the job done.

Foster powered over the Colts, broke tackles and dominated a worn-down Colts defense, even when it appeared the Colts may be headed toward a second overtime win in six days. He finished with 16 carried and a 5.3 average

But the Panthers won the overtime coin toss, took the ball and gave it to Foster, and the Colts never got another chance.

Manning led the Colts on a 91-yard drive in the game's final three minutes, hitting a wide open Reggie Wayne on a 38-yard TD pass to tie the score with 45 seconds left in regulation.

Manning finished 23 of 34 for 293 yards with one touchdown. Marvin Harrison caught eight passes for 119 yards, breaking Raymond Berry's franchise record for yards receiving and becoming the fastest player in NFL history to 700 receptions.

Harrison now has 9,387 yards and reached the 700-mark in 114 games - 25 games faster than the previous record-holder, Jerry Rice.

But Foster dominated in overtime. While Davis finished with 76 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries, Foster was the workhorse as the Panthers again used a strong ground game, a stifling defense and good returns to rally from a 13-3 halftime deficit.

The Colts lost control quickly.

Indianapolis' opening second-half possession ended when Harrison could not handle a pass from Manning and Ricky Manning Jr. intercepted it. On the next play, Davis, who had been held to 10 yards rushing in the first half, broke four tackles and scored on a 28-yard run.

The Panthers took a 17-13 lead on their next possession when Nick Harper fell down and Jake Delhomme connected with Steve Smith on a 52-yard TD pass - the longest pass play of the season for Carolina.

Carolina also got a 23-yard field goal from Kasay early in the fourth quarter after a 42-yard punt return from Steve Smith.


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