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Nov. 22, 2012 at 11:00 PM   |   Comments

Redskins, Griffin hold off Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Robert Griffin III threw three of his four scoring passes in the second quarter Thursday and Washington held off a Dallas comeback to defeat the Cowboys 38-31.

The Redskins built a 28-3 halftime lead and then survived an assault by Dallas quarterback Tony Romo over the final two quarters.

Both teams have 5-6 records and will fall two games behind the NFC East leading New York Giants if the Giants can defeat Green Bay on Monday night.

Griffin completed 20-of-28 passes for 311 yards in his introduction to the Washington-Dallas rivalry. The teams will meet again on the final weekend of the season.

During the second period Griffin delivered touchdown passes of 68 yards to Aldrick Robinson, 59 yards to Pierre Garcon and 6 yards to Santana Moss. Alfred Morris also produced a 1-yard scoring run during Washington's 28-point second period.

Griffin's final touchdown throw traveled 29 yards to a wide open Niles Paul early in the fourth quarter to give Washington a 35-13 cushion.

Romo, who hooked up with Dez Bryant with an 85-yard touchdown pass in the third period, also hit Felix Jones from 10 yards out and Bryant with an 11-yarder to bring the Cowboys within seven with 8:18 to play.

Washington, however, fought off the Dallas comeback by driving 50 yards in 11 plays and getting a game-clinching 48-yard field goal from Kai Forbath with 2:58 to play.

Romo, with his running game depleted by injuries and his offensive line struggling, threw 50 passes last week in a comeback win over Cleveland. He threw 62 times against the Redskins, completing 37 of them for 441 yards with two interceptions.

This was the seventh time Washington had met Dallas on Thanksgiving and it was the first time the Redskins had won.


Houston wins second straight OT contest

DETROIT, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Shayne Graham kicked a 32-yard field goal with 2:21 remaining in overtime Thursday to complete a Houston rally and give the Texans a 34-31 win over Detroit.

The Texans improved to a league-best 10-1 and won on the road for a franchise-record fifth straight time. Houston is only one victory away from clinching a playoff spot.

Detroit (4-7), which has been hosting a game on Thanksgiving since 1945, lost on the holiday for the ninth straight year.

Houston's Arian Foster scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run with 1:55 to play in regulation, ending a 15-play, 97-yard drive that forged a 31-31 tie.

Both Graham and Detroit's Jason Hanson missed field goal attempts in the overtime before Graham made his game-winning kick. Houston won in overtime for the second time in four days, having defeated Jacksonville last Sunday in the extra period on a 48-yard pass from Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson.

Schaub, who threw for 527 yards and five touchdowns against Jacksonville, went 29-of-48 for 315 yards and one score against the Lions.

Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford completed 31-of-61 passes for 441 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson made eight catches for 140 yards and a score.

The Texans, who reached the playoffs last year for the first time in franchise history, can actually earn a playoff spot this weekend if Tennessee, Miami, the New York Jets, Cincinnati and either San Diego or Pittsburgh all lose.

Houston's only loss this year came at home against Green Bay in the sixth week of the season.


VCU surprises Memphis in Bahamas tourney

NASSAU, Bahamas, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Treveon Graham led a 3-point barrage Thursday that carried Virginia Commonwealth to a surprising 78-65 decision over No. 17 Memphis.

Virginia Commonwealth reached the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis and the Rams will meet Duke on Friday with a spot in the title game on the line. Memphis will take on Minnesota in the consolation bracket.

The Rams made 13-of-22 from beyond the arc with Graham hitting two of those long-range shots among his 26 points.

Virginia Commonwealth (3-1) built a 14-point halftime lead and Memphis came no closer than three during the second period. Rob Brandenberg added 15 points for the Rams and Troy Daniels had 12.

Memphis, which had won its first two games this season, was paced by Adonis Thomas with 19 points.


Luke Donald leads World Tour Championship

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Luke Donald posted a bogey-free 7-under-par 65 Thursday and has a one-stroke lead at the European Tour's DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Donald, coming off a Japan Golf Tour win at the Dunlop Phoenix last week, had all seven of his birdies in a 10-hole stretch and is just ahead of world No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Marc Warren.

Six players, including Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen, are tied for fifth at 5-under 67.

McIlroy made a late charge with five birdies on the second nine Thursday. He had three in a row over Nos. 14-16. All six of Fernandez-Castano's birdies came on the back nine of the Jumeirah Golf Estates as he finished with three straight birdies. Warren had seven birdies and a bogey at No. 13.

Donald opened with four pars but had birdies on three of the next four holes. He opened the second nine with birdies at 10 and 11. A 15-foot putt gave him a birdie at the 13th hole and he just missed an eagle attempt at the 626-yard, par-5 14th.

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