Foster TD helps Houston take 10-3 lead over Indy

By Cliff Brunt

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Dec. 22 2011 7:25 p.m. MST

Houston Texans' Arian Foster reacts following a 9-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, in Indianapolis.

Michael Conroy, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Arian Foster's 9-yard touchdown run in the first minute helped the Houston Texans take a 10-3 lead over the Colts at the end of the first quarter.

Foster ran for 64 yards on seven carries in the opening quarter.

Indianapolis had one first down and was held to 21 yards in the first quarter.

On Indianapolis' first play from scrimmage, Houston's Brian Cushing sacked Indy quarterback Dan Orlovsky and forced him to fumble. Houston's Brooks Reed recovered at the Indianapolis 17. Two plays later, Foster's touchdown gave the Texans a 7-0 lead 54 seconds into the game.

The Colts (1-13) went three-and-out on their next drive. Houston took over at its 38-yard line, but this time, the Colts caught the break. Robert Mathis sacked Houston quarterback T.J. Yates, forced a fumble and recovered it himself at the Houston 36-yard line. The Colts wasted the opportunity when Orlovsky was sacked by Connor Barwin at the Houston 40-yard line on third down.

Houston (10-4) punted out of its end zone on its next possession, and Indy's Pierre Garcon returned it 20 yards to the Houston 27.

Orlovsky's 12-yard completion to Austin Collie on third-and-8 set Indy up at the Houston 13. The drive stalled, and Adam Vinatieri's 23-yard field goal cut Houston's lead to 7-3.

Houston ripped off huge chunks of yardage to start the next drive — a 29-yard pass from Yates to Kevin Walter and an 18-yard run by Foster — to move into Indianapolis territory. Eventually, the Colts' defense tightened up, and Neil Rackers made a 44-yard field goal to push Houston's lead to 10-3 with 2:01 left in the quarter.

The Colts lead the series 16-3 and have never lost at home to the Texans, but Houston beat Indy 34-7 in the opener and has won two of the past three meetings.

Indianapolis is coming off its first win of the season, a 27-13 win over Tennessee. Donald Brown ran for a career-high 161 yards that day, including a clinching 80-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

The Colts dominated the AFC South for nearly a decade, but the Texans have already clinched the franchise's first home playoff game, dethroning a Colts team that won seven of the previous eight division crowns.

The Texans have kept rolling despite losing starting quarterback Matt Schaub and backup Matt Leinart to season-ending injuries. Receiver Andre Johnson missed his ninth straight game with a strained left hamstring.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cliffbruntap

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