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Gainesville High graduate Watson scores TD for Houston Texans in preseason win against New England
Watson finished game 3-for-10 passing for 102 yards, rushing score
Deshaun Watson
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, a Gainesville High graduate, celebrates his touchdown run against the New England Patriots in a preseason game Saturday in Houston, Texas. - photo by Associated Press

Gainesville High graduate Deshaun Watson threw for 102 yards and ran in a 2-yard touchdown in the Houston Texans’ 27-23 preseason victory against the New England Patriots on Saturday in Houston.

Watson, a first-round pick in the 2017 draft, entered the game after Texans starter Tom Savage connected on 8 of 9 throws for 98 yards. For the Patriots, Tom Brady completed 6 of 9 throws with a touchdown in his first showing since winning the Super Bowl.

The Patriots punted on their first drive before Brady connected with Rex Burkhead on a 22-yard touchdown throw that tied it at 7-7 early in the second quarter. His performance came in his return to Houston after leading the Patriots back from a 25-point third-quarter deficit to a 34-28 overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons to earn his fourth Super Bowl MVP trophy here in February.

It was a far different environment than the previous time the Patriots were at NRG Stadium, but there was a reminder of their big win as remnants of red and blue confetti from the Super Bowl postgame celebration remained in the phone banks near their bench.

Rob Gronkowski also made his season debut for the Patriots, playing about 15 snaps, but not catching a pass, in his first preseason appearance since 2012.

Julian Edelman and Brandin Cooks also played after sitting out last week and Cooks had a 7-yard reception.

Houston quarterback Tom Savage was effective in two drives, going 8 for 9 for 98 yards with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jaelen Strong that put the Texans up 7-0 in the first quarter.

“I’m really, really comfortable with this offense,” Savage said. “We have a lot of talent out there and a lot of the guys are making some big plays for me and it’s been awesome.”

Jimmy Garoppolo was 15 of 23 for 145 yards with a touchdown and an interception after taking over for Brady.

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