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Colts reward Pagano visit with win

Nov. 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM
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INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano attended his second consecutive home game Sunday after taking an indefinite leave for leukemia treatment.

The sold-out crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium roared its approval when Pagano, who was not thought to be in attendance, was shown on the video scoreboard with owner Jim Irsay early in the fourth quarter of a crucial 20-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills that kept the Colts' (7-4) playoff hopes alive, The Indianapolis Star reported Monday. He tapped his chest and could be seen saying, "Thank you, thank you," in response to the cheering crowd.

Pagano was shown as two cheerleaders for the team had their heads shaved on the sideline after raising $22,000 in donations for cancer research.

"I couldn't be prouder of the football team because Chuck was here and the goal was to make him smile when he left, and I'm sure he left here smiling," interim coach Bruce Arians said after the game.

The Colts downed the Bills on the strength of two touchdowns by T.Y. Hilton -- the first coming on a punt return early in the first quarter and another on a pass from quarterback Andrew Luck underneath the goal post to cap a nine-minute drive in the second half.

The Colts are 2-0 in home games Pagano has attended since leaving for treatment.

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