Chiefs top Chargers in overtime

The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Steve Bono did his best Joe Montana imitation. Tamarick Vanover did the rest.

Vanover, a rookie who played in the CFL last season after leaving Florida State early, returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown 7:27 into overtime last night, giving the Kansas City Chiefs a 29-23 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

The Chiefs (5-1), who won their third overtime game this season, had tied the score with 15 seconds left on a 78-yard drive engineered by Bono, who had understudied for Montana in Kansas City and San Francisco.

An 18-yard pass to Derrick Walker, followed by Lin Elliott's extra point, forced the fifth overtime game this weekend an NFL record.

Then Neil Smith came alive in overtime, twice sacking Gale Gilbert, who replaced the injured Stan Humphries at quarterback for San Diego. After the second, Darren Bennett punted and Vanover, who could have made a fair catch, grabbed the ball at the 14, evaded three Chargers tacklers and broke left around the wall.

He broke free about his own 35, evaded Bennett at the San Diego 40 and sailed into into the end zone in an electrifying sprint for his second TD he had a 90-yard kickoff return for a score against Seattle.

''I'm feeling joy right now,'' Vanover said. ''I've been waiting all my life, I've been waiting all my life.''

John Carney kicked a 29-yard field goal with 1:12 left to give the Chargers (3-3) a seemingly safe 23-16 lead. Just over three minutes earlier, Humphries had put San Diego ahead 20-16 with a 4-yard TD toss to Shannon Mitchell.

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