SEATTLE -- Trent Dilfer was back on the field. It was his night all the way.
|Trent Dilfer points to the sky after throwing a touchdown on Saturday.(AP)|
"He never ceases to amaze me," Seahawks starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "He was great. He's out there with a lot of guys who don't know exactly what they're doing, and he was directing traffic."
Dilfer's TD pass was the biggest highlight, a 19-yard strike to the right side of the end zone. Koren Robinson leaped and extended his arms, tying it at 28 with 7:31 remaining in the third quarter.
"I knew I had to make that catch," Robinson said. "It was a perfect opportunity, a great throw. I just reached out and hauled it in."
It was big for reasons beyond football.
Dilfer missed the second half of last season with a torn Achilles' tendon. And he just returned to training camp workouts last week after straining his right oblique muscle on the third day of workouts.
"Tonight was an emotional evening for him," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "He said that to me. To be able to go into a game, complete some plays - and Koren made a beautiful catch - it was very, very important for him."
Dilfer declined interviews. He hasn't spoken to reporters since breaking into tears at a June minicamp when he discussed his son's death.
After his TD pass, Dilfer celebrated with his linemen then sprinted away and raised his arms toward the heavens. He pumped his right fist and headed to the sideline, where Hasselbeck and reserve quarterback Jeff Kelly gave him a long embrace.
Teammates have described Dilfer as an inspiration during camp. Many congratulated him after the Chiefs took possession following his TD pass, and Robinson handed him the ball.
"I know he was probably anxious," Hasselbeck said. "I felt like after he took us down and got that touchdown pass, the electricity got going. The defense got fired up. We're just really, really happy for him."
The Seahawks went ahead 35-31 on Kerry Carter's 17-yard touchdown run with 12:07 to play. He had a big hole up the middle, then broke three tackles as he rumbled toward the end zone.
Carter, competing for a spot as a backup to Shaun Alexander, had a 19-yard run to Kansas City's 1 near the two-minute warning. On the next play, he plunged over the goal line.
"Kerry has been one of our more consistent players in the preseason," Holmgren said. "We were fortunate to pick him late. He's done nothing but tell us he should be on the football team."
Rookie Larry Johnson had a big night for the Chiefs, running 12 times for 77 yards and returning a kickoff 85 yards for a third-quarter touchdown. Priest Holmes ran only once as a precaution against injury, a 4-yard gain in the second quarter.
Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil was asked if Johnson can move into the backup spot.
"I know he can run. I just don't know if he is ready for all the pass protection schemes yet," Vermeil said. "We took him out of a lot of passes today."
Kansas City's Todd Collins was 12-of-18 passes for 144 yards and two TDs, both in the second quarter. He had an 11-yard scoring pass to Marc Boerigter and a 7-yarder to Jason Dunn, a play that was awarded after a replay.
Trent Green, played only two series but was 6-for-9 for 62 yards and a touchdown. His 14-yard TD pass to Tony Gonzales put the Chiefs up 7-3 after Seattle opened the scoring on a 32-yard field goal by rookie Josh Brown.
Hasselbeck was 17-of-23 for 198 yards for two TDs and scrambled four times for 38 yards. He played through the first series of the second half, then turned the offense over to Dilfer.
"There are some things we can still correct, but it was a positive," Hasselbeck said. "We're young. We're still learning. We're getting better. We know we can move the ball now and hopefully score points."
Hasselbeck threw a 5-yard TD pass to Heath Evans for a 10-7 lead early in the second period and directed the opening drive of the second half, producing a 3-yard scoring pass to Darrell Jackson to tie it at 21.
The Associated Press News Service
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