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Bess rebounds to help key victory

Posted Nov 4, 2013

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davone Bess was key to the team’s offensive game plan in the 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davone Bess had a long week leading up to Sunday’s 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

A week earlier, he dropped several passes and fumbled a punt away late in the fourth quarter of a 23-17 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Then, he spent four days answering questions while trying to prepare for the Ravens.

And he responded with three catches for 24 yards, two touchdowns and a key fourth-down conversion that allowed the Browns to keep possession of the ball and wear nearly three minutes off the clock before Billy Cundiff converted a 22-yard field goal to give the team a six-point lead with 17 seconds to play at FirstEnergy Stadium.

“Probably at all three levels, high school, college and NFL, it probably was my worst game, but it’s about bouncing back,” Bess said. “I wouldn’t say I talked to somebody. I just went back and looked myself in the mirror, held myself accountable and got the problem fixed.

“I just focused on looking the ball in, things that I’ve been doing since high school, the little fundamentals.”

Fortunately, for Bess and the Browns, he was able to atone for the Kansas City game early against the Ravens as he caught a one-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jason Campbell and gave the Browns a 7-0 lead with 8:24 to play in the first quarter.

On fourth-and-goal from the one, Campbell lined up in the shotgun formation and delivered the ball to Bess on an out route on the right side of the formation. Bess high-pointed the ball and withstood a hit in the back from a Baltimore defensive back as he fell to the ground for the score.

“I trust him, and I know the type of person he is, and that he’s going to bounce back from the week before,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said of Bess. “You get to know people, and you get to trust people and feel about them in this way, and Davone Bess is one of those people.”

Prior to the Ravens’ first touchdown of the game, Bess caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Campbell and extended the Browns’ lead to 14-3 with 10:08 remaining in the first half.

Bess caught the ball at the 17-yard line, stutter-stepped his way past a Ravens defender at the 12 and got a last-second block from fellow wide receiver Greg Little just shy of the goal line that opened up a running lane for Bess to get into the end zone.

With the touchdown, Bess reached a career milestone, as it was his first multi-score game in the NFL.

“Actually, the guy got a pretty good jam on me,” Bess said. “They were blitzing, bringing pressure. I turned around on my route and saw Jason scrambling, and it looked exactly how it was last week. He was rolling, threw it at me, I just came over and fell. I was able to get underneath it.

“That’s life; it’s been a journey. Me, personally, I had a journey a long time ago, and I’m still on it. We all are. We’ve just got to keep swinging. You’ve got to take it one play at a time, one snap at a time. That’s the only way you can get back in it.”

Bess made one final play that allowed the Browns to essentially end the Ravens’ last good chance at a comeback late in the fourth quarter when a touchdown would have given the reigning Super Bowl champions a four-point lead.

With 3:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Browns faced a fourth-and-one from Baltimore’s 43-yard line. Out of the shotgun formation, Campbell took the snap from center Alex Mack and targeted Bess with a short pass on the right side of the field.

Bess’ three-yard gain not only gave the Browns enough yardage for the first down, but also helped keep alive a 15-play, 67-yard drive that eventually took 6:30 off the fourth-quarter clock.

“It was a huge play, probably the biggest play of the game,” Campbell said. “I was so happy for him to come back in a similar situation from a week ago and step up to make a play to get open. I couldn’t be more proud of a guy. Davone made a great play and played a great game overall.”

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