CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland St. Ignatius alum Brian Hoyer got to live the dream of a lifetime Thursday night in Chicago – play 4 quarters for the Cleveland Browns.
Hoyer, who started and filled in for backup Jason Campbell, completed 24 of 35 passes for 307 yards, a touchdown and 2 interceptions as the Browns rallied to beat the Chicago Bears 18-16 at Soldier Field.
Bears kicker Robbie Gould missed wide right on a would-be go ahead field goal with 1:09 to play and Hoyer scrambled for 10 yards for a first down to seal the victory for Cleveland.
The Browns finish the preseason 3-1 for the first time since 2007.
Campbell was originally scheduled to start but was unable to go due to flu-like symptoms. He missed practice Tuesday as well.
Hoyer hit Josh Gordon for 45 yards on the first snap, but was intercepted by Bears corner Demontre Hurst, who returned it 17 yards to their own 43, while looking for Gordon again over the middle on his second attempt.
The Bears turned the pick into a Robbie Gould 52-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 10:26 to play in the opening quarter.
Hoyer and Gordon hooked up for another 32-yard completion on their second drive which stalled after a throw to running back Jamaine Cook out of the backfield was low and wide on 3rd down.
With kicker Shayne Grahm having tightness in his back, punter Spencer Lanning shanked a 41-yard field goal attempt wide left.
Cook returned kickoffs as well and averaged 26.6 yards on 5 returns. The Midpark alum ran 12 times for 28 yards and caught 2 passes for 14 yards.
Chicago took a 10-0 lead when Jordan Palmer found Joe Anderson for a 5-yard TD with 12:13 to play in the half. The Bears went 5-5 on 3rd down on the 16-play drive to set up the score.
Receiver David Nelson made his Browns debut and caught 4 passes for 54 yards, including a 16-yard reception to help set up Lanning’s 32-yard field goal to get the Browns on the board at the half and cut the Bears lead to 10-3.
The Bears started quarterback Jordan Palmer and he finished the night 11 of 17 for 111 yards, a touchdown and quarterback rating 102.8.
Trent Edwards took over for Chicago in the second half. A 40-yard strike to Josh Lenz eventually set up a 21 yard field goal from Gould to give Chicago a 13-3 lead with 9:35 to play in the 3rd.
Linebacker James-Michael Johnson – on the bubble – picked off Edwards and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown. Chudzinski elected to go for 2 but Cook was lit up in the backfield to keep it a 13-9 Bears advantage with 7:53 to play in the 3rd.
Hoyer threw his second interception of the night looking for Nelson up the sideline but Bears corner Sherrick McManis came away with the ball. Gould hit his 3rd field goal of the night – this time 44 yards – to put the Bears in front 16-9 with 10:22 to play.
Hoyer got the Browns to within 1 by threading the needle to tight end Dan Gronkowski for a 14-yard TD but his 2 point conversion pass attempt to Josh Cooper fell incomplete keeping it 16-15 Bears with 6:47 to play.
Late in the 4th, Armonty Bryant stripped Bears fullback Harvey Unga after a 6-yard gain and L.J. Fort recovered the loose football at the Bears 44.
The turnover set up Lanning’s 40-yard field goal to give the Browns their first and only lead they’d need, 18-16 with 3:15 to play.
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