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Browns lead Bills, 17-10, at the half

Posted Oct 3, 2013

Special-teams plays helped stake the Cleveland Browns out to a 17-10 lead over the Buffalo Bills at halftime.

On the strength of two Travis Benjamin punt returns, the Cleveland Browns held a 17-10 lead over the Buffalo Bills at halftime of Thursday’s game from FirstEnergy Stadium.

Benjamin returned Shawn Powell’s 52-yard punt 79 yards for a touchdown and gave the Browns their first lead over the Bills, 17-10, with 2:20 remaining in the first half.

After fielding the punt at the Browns’ 21-yard line, Benjamin ran from the right hash mark to the middle of the field and was able to turn upfield near the Browns’ sideline. After stepping out of one tackle and spinning his way past another, Benjamin got one final block, which sealed the special-teams score.

Cleveland running back Willis McGahee scored the Browns’ first rushing score of the season, and drew the team even with the Bills, at 10-10, with 3:52 remaining in the first half.

McGahee capped off a 14-play, 74-yard drive that covered 7:10 and had two defensive penalties, one for encroachment and a second for illegal contact. Both of the penalties against Buffalo came in the red zone.

Cleveland kicker Billy Cundiff converted a 30-yard field goal attempt and drew the Browns to within one score of the Bills, 10-3, with 14:24 to play in the first half.

It was a special teams play that helped set up the Browns’ first score of the game.

After forcing the Bills to punt, Benjamin fielded the 44-yard kick and returned it 57 yards to Buffalo’s 31-yard line.

Following a touchdown in the first five minutes of the game and a 52-yard field goal, the Bills held a 10-0 lead over the Browns after the first quarter of play.

Buffalo kicker Dan Carpenter converted the 52-yard field goal, which extended the Bills’ lead over the Browns to 10-0 with 5:51 left to play in the first quarter. The Buffalo drive travelled 56 yards on 12 plays in 4:15.

Buffalo running back Fred Jackson rushed through a pile of players and scored a one-yard touchdown, which put the Bills in front of the Browns, 7-0, with 13:16 remaining in the first quarter.

Jackson’s touchdown came one play after the Browns were flagged for pass interference in the end zone.

On second-and-eight from Cleveland’s 30-yard line, rookie quarterback EJ Manuel tested Joe Haden and the Browns’ secondary by throwing deep to veteran wide receiver Steve Johnson. Haden extended his arms and made contact with Johnson as the wideout went up for the ball, which was thrown behind him.

The penalty moved the ball to the one-yard line.

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