MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Steelers defeated the Miami Dolphins, 23-22, today in a most bizarre of rulings by an official, who happens to be a native of the Pittsburgh area.
Trailing by two points with the ball on the two and third down, Ben Roethlisberger, from the shotgun formation, took the snap and ran a quarterback draw. As he dived for the goalline, safety Chris Clemons hit him and popped the ball loose. The officials ruled that it was a touchdown.
Miami coach Tony Sporano challenged the play, and after reviewing it, referee Gene Steratore, who lives in Washington, Pa., ruled it a fumble. However, Steratore could not determine who had recovered the ball in the end zone, and none of the officials apparently saw who recovered after they ruled Roethlisberger had scored.
It appeared that two Dolphins had jumped on the loose ball in the end zone.
So, instead of Miami getting the ball at the 20 after a touchback, the officials ruled the Steelers had the ball on fourth down at the one, where Roethlisberger had fumbled it.
Jeff Reed then kicked an 18-yard field goal to put the Steelers ahead by one point with 2:26 to go.
The Steelers improved their record to 5-1. Miami is 3-3.
After the Steelers held a 17-16 lead at halftime, the two kickers traded field goals in the third quarter. Reed put the Steelers on top by four with a 39-yarder, and Dan Carpenter kicked his fourth for the Dolphins, from 37 yards.
The score remained that way until Carpenter kicked his fifth field goal with 5:17 left in the game for a 22-20 Miami lead.
But rookie Emmanuel Sanders returned the kickoff 48 yards to Miami's 48. Then, on third down and five, Roethlisberger threw a short pass to Mewelde Moore, who had a wide open field in front of him and ran it to the 14 for a 29-yard gain.
The Steelers worked it down to the two and on third down, Roethlisberger ran his famous -- or, in Miami, infamous -- quarterback draw.
For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette On the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: email@example.com .