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October 15, 2013

Rivers, Novak lead Chargers to 19-9 victory over Colts

SAN DIEGO — Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers kept Andrew Luck on the sideline most of the night, giving the Indianapolis Colts quarterback no chance at another comeback.

Rivers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to rookie Keenan Allen and Nick Novak kicked four field goals to give the Chargers a 19-9 victory against the Colts on Monday night.

Rivers methodically moved the Chargers (3-3) on three scoring drives of at least 74 yards as he rebounded from a three-interception performance in a dismal loss at Oakland.

That, and a lot of dropped passes by Colts receivers, kept Indianapolis (4-2) from taking a two-game lead over Tennessee in the AFC South.

A week earlier, Luck helped rally the Colts to a 34-28 victory against Seattle.

He had no chance against the Bolts because of two long drives in the second quarter that helped contribute to the Chargers dominating the time of possession 38 minutes, 31 seconds to 21:29.

Allen got behind safety Delano Howell and cornerback Vontae Davis on a post route for the TD, completing a 12-play, 74-yard march that took 6:14 and gave San Diego a 7-3 lead. It was Allen’s second TD catch of the season.

Novak’s first field goal capped a drive that went 79 yards in 17 plays in 7:58. The drive was kept alive when cornerback Greg Toler was whistled for illegal contact for pushing receiver Lavelle Hawkins out of bounds on third-and-6 from the Chargers 45.

Luck then completed four straight passes to move the Colts into Chargers territory before Coby Fleener dropped a pass at the 25. Luck scrambled for 6 yards and threw an incompletion before Adam Vinatieri kicked a 50-yard field goal as time expired.

On the Colts’ only other possession of the second quarter, Darrius Heyward-Bey dropped what likely would have been a long touchdown pass down the right sideline.

Novak also had field goals of 33, 34 and 50 yards, with the final one coming with 1:55 left. Vinatieri finished with three field goals.

Chargers cornerback Derek Cox snuffed out Indy’s final chance when he intercepted a pass that was tipped by receiver Reggie Wayne with 1:07 to play.

Rivers was 22 of 33 for 237 yards and no interceptions. Luck was 18 of 30 for 202 yards.

Wayne got his 1,000th career reception in the fourth quarter.

San Diego established its running game with 147 yards. Ryan Mathews ran for 102 yards on 22 carries, his first 100-yard game of the season.

There were family ties in this one: Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano beat older brother Chuck, the Colts’ coach.

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Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza 55 on the stop: Indiana State's Connor Underwood tackles North Dakota State's Sam Ojuri during the Sycamores' loss to the Bison on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

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Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterOuch: Defending Men's City Chamion Tom Jones reacts to a missed putt on the 6th hole at Rea Park Saturday morning. Jones is seeking his 9th Men's title.

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Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Records: Near perfect weather contributed to record attendance at racetracks around the state, including the Action Track, seen here.

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It was the Knights' day: Charlotte's Josh Phegley, center, high fives teammates and coaching staff after the Knights defeated the Indianapolis Indians 8-4 on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

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