LANDOVER, Md., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Brett Conway nearly ruined a fourth-quarter rally with a missed field goal Sunday, but atoned for it in overtime as the Washington Redskins finally won their first game under coach Marty Schottenheimer, 17-14 over the Carolina Panthers.
After raising his arms in the belief that he had made a 32-yard attempt with 36 seconds left in regulation, only to watch it sail wide right, Conway kicked a 23-yarder 1:52 into the extra period.
It appeared rookie receiver Rod Gardner had caught a winning touchdown pass moments before Conway's kick, but referee Bill Corollo ruled Gardner was downed by contact at the Carolina six before 6 before he raced into the end zone.
"My feeling has always been you don't take an opportunity to win away from your team," said Schottenheimer, who elected to kick the game-winning field goal on first down. "Plus, I wanted Brett to make the kick."
The Panthers (1-5) had a 14-0 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but the momentum changed thanks to a big play from Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington.
Carolina had possession at the Redskins' 28 when a screen pass by Chris Weinke deflected off running back Chris Hetherington's left hand and into the hands of Arrington, who returned it 67 yards for his first career touchdown.
"When I saw the deflection and got under it, I said 'don't drop the ball,'" Arrington said.
"I made a throw that was too high and it ends up getting tipped," Weinke said. "And he (Arrington) makes a great play on it."
Gardner tied the game with 7:35 left when he faked out cornerback Doug Evans and caught an 85-yard touchdown pass from Tony Banks down the left sideline.
Banks threw for 346 yards, completing 17 of 30 passes. He had only 141 yards going into the fourth quarter.
"Tony's got a great arm," Gardner said. "He can throw it out there. He gave me a chance and you saw how it ended up."
"It's a huge monkey off my back, off the offense's back and the defense's back," Banks said. "It was a total team effort."
Gardner, Washington's first-round pick, had 208 yards on six catches.
"When you take a great talent like him and that guy has the pride and energy he has, it makes for a very formidable player," Schottenheimer said.
Running back Stephen Davis had 99 yards on 26 carries for the Redskins (1-5).
The Panthers dropped their second straight on the game's final play, losing a 27-25 decision to New Orleans last week on a touchdown run by Ricky Williams.
The Panthers opened the scoring with 5:04 remaining in the first quarter when Weinke hit tight end Wesley Walls with a two-yarder, completing a 53-yard drive in six plays.
Carolina threatened to add to its lead late in the first half. With the ball on the Redskins' one and 13 second left, Weinke threw a pass over the middle that was intercepted by rookie defensive end Otis Leverette, one of three passes Weinke had intercepted inside Washington's 20-yard line.
Weinke threw for 226 yards, completing 24 of 35 passes.
Tim Biakabutuka scored on a 10-yard run just 2:02 into the fourth quarter, putting the Panthers ahead, 14-0. But it would be a short-lived celebration for the Carolina running back, who ran for 121 yards on 20 carries.
With just over seven minutes remaining, Biakabutuka was tackled by two Redskin defenders and broke his right foot, sidelining him for an indefinite period.
"Not only did we lose a game, but we lost him for a while," Carolina coach George Seifert said."
The Panthers were on the verge of adding to their lead when Arrington picked off Weinke for Washington's first score with 10:10 remaining.
Carolina got the ball back but was forced to punt after six plays. Todd Sauerbrun booted the ball 61 yards to the Redskins' 15 and Banks hit Gardner on the first play from scrimmage for the game-tying score.
"At this point, it's difficult to think about it," Seifert said. "But come tomorrow and the following day, we'll have to bounce back."