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STEELERS 24. CHARGERS 22

Steelers win on late FG

Roethlisberger hurt in victory

SAN DIEGO -- The Bus was back, and Ben Roethlisberger thrust both fists in the air as Jeff Reed's kick won it for the Steelers.

One problem: Roethlisberger was celebrating on the bench with his left leg wrapped in ice and bandages.

Shortly after Roethlisberger limped off the field with an apparent knee injury, Reed kicked a 40-yard field goal with 6 seconds left to give the Steelers a 24-22 win over the San Diego Chargers last night.

''I feel great, I feel fresh," Jerome Bettis said after rushing for a touchdown in his season debut. ''And officially, I am back."

Trailing, 22-21, Roethlisberger moved the Steelers into San Diego territory and had completed a 9-yard pass to Antwaan Randle El when he was hit on the knee by the helmet of Chargers rookie lineman Luis Castillo.

After leaving the game Roethlisberger was replaced by Charlie Batch, who has played only a handful of downs the last three years. Batch handed off three straight times to Bettis before Reed's kick.

Roethlisberger ran for one touchdown and threw for another, and Bettis rushed for a TD in his season debut for the Steelers (3-1). San Diego (2-3) had its two-game winning streak snapped.

Roethlsiberger was driven off the field on a cart after the final gun.

Nate Kaeding had kicked field goals of 34 and 32 yards in the third quarter to pull the San Diego Chargers within 14-13.

Kaeding's 32-yarder, with 3:54 left in the third, came one play after Willie Williams broke up a pass from Drew Brees to tight end Antonio Gates in the end zone.

Early in the third quarter, San Diego's Darren Sproles bobbled a punt and Pittsburgh's Chidi Iwuoma grabbed the ball. But after the officials huddled, it was ruled that because Sproles signaled for a fair catch, he had to be given the opportunity to complete the catch.

Brees then moved the Chargers into position for Kaeding's 34-yard kick.

Bettis and Roethlisberger scored their first rushing touchdowns of the season.

Bettis scored on a 1-yard run with 1:37 left in the second quarter. The Bus missed the first three games while recovering from a calf injury sustained late in the exhibition season.

Bettis's run capped a drive set up when James Harrison intercepted Brees, hurdled San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson and gained 25 yards before being tripped up by Brees. An unnecessary roughness call against Chargers guard Kris Dielman added 15 yards.

San Diego pulled to 14-7 on an 11-yard scoring pass from Brees to Gates with 34 seconds left. That drive started after a 48-yard kickoff return by rookie Darren Sproles.

Roethlisberger scored his second career rushing touchdown midway through the second quarter.

On third-and-5 from the Chargers' 7, Roethlisberger lined up in the shotgun, took the snap and scrambled into the end zone.

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