11:02 PM UTC – November 5, 2023
(Reuters) – Texans running back Dare Ogunbowale sent one through the uprights in Houston’s 39-37 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, becoming the first non-kicker or punter to kick a field goal in a regular-season game in 19 years.
The Texans’ strategy was sent into disarray when kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn suffered an injury and was unable to compete in the second half, forcing Ogunbowale to assume place-kicking duties for the home team.
With the game tied at 30-30 in the fourth quarter, Ogunbowale stepped up to take his shot and sent a 29-yard field goal through, prompting special teams coordinator Frank Ross to run on to the field as the Texans sideline erupted in celebration.
“You lose your kicker, that’s tough. What are you going to do? Your whole game plan changes,” coach DeMeco Ryans told reporters.
“Dare, he stepped up big time for us. For him to be able to kickoff as many times as he did… and also for him to kick the field goal — we were confident he could make it from there and he proved us right.
“Credit to Dare, he’s truly the player of the game.”
Ogunbowale was not the only one with a standout performance, as quarterback C.J. Stroud set the single-game rookie record for passing yards with 470.
With his team down 37-33 and less than a minute left on the clock, the 22-year-old Stroud executed a stunning final drive to secure the win, connecting with Tank Dell in the end zone for his fifth touchdown pass of the day.
“It’s a big-time win for us,” said Stroud, as the Texans improved their record to 4-4. “We’ve got a lot of work to put in.”
Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; editing by Clare Fallon