Dameon Pierce had to do a lot of convincing to get his mother on a plane from Florida to watch him play for the first time in the NFL.
"I had to fight her to get her on the plane," Pierce said. "We don't do planes where I'm from."
Pierce, who grew up in Bainbridge, Georgia, was holding the game ball from his second-quarter touchdown run against the Los Angeles Chargers and was planning to give it to her.
"First time for her to come down to Texas, to Houston to watch her baby play," he said.
With the Houston Texans trailing 21-0 at home, the rookie RB injected a spark into the game when he exploded for a 75-yard rushing touchdown with his mother among the crowd of cheering fans.
"There's a reason why we're starting a rookie running back," Head Coach Lovie Smith said after the game. "Of course, he can run in between the tackles. He can make you miss in open field, but that's the part of his game that we haven't seen. Running backs going, what was it, 75 yards or so. In the NFL that's hard to do. He is just kind of showing you all of the things that he can do. I don't know exactly how many carries he was able to get today, but he is a guy that we need to continue to feature."
Pierce broke through defenders on a play that included lead blocking by FB Troy Hairston, the undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan and TE O.J. Howard. After the one-play, 75-yard scoring drive, the Texans trailed 21-7 with 9:48 left in the second quarter.
"Me and Troy talked about that all week, man," Pierce said. "Because Troy is a very detailed person when it comes to fullback, because when it comes to understanding assignment, he just wants to be a great player and I told him, 'Troy just get him anyway you can. I'm trying to make you right.' And Troy went out there with a heck of a block, cut off of him and the rest is history."
History, indeed. The rushing touchdown is the third-longest in Texans team history.
Pierce now has back-to-back games with a rushing touchdown. In the 34-24 loss to the Chargers, Pierce finished with 14 carries for a career-high 131 yards rushing, averaging 9.4 yards per attempt, and the score.