Cleveland • Brian Hoyer threw the game-clinching touchdown pass, turned and sprinted up the field as more than 70,000 fans roared.
It was the same way he used to do it in his backyard as a boy, pretending to lead his beloved Browns to victory.
On Sunday, he became a hometown hero for real.
Hoyer, the local kid who grew up dreaming of one day being Cleveland’s quarterback, threw two touchdown passes in his first start at home to lead the revived Browns to a 17-6 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Hoyer tossed a 1-yard TD pass to Chris Ogbonnaya with 4:54 left to give the Browns (2-2) an 11-point lead before Cleveland turned it over to its vastly improved defense to put the Bengals (2-2) away.
Before the ball even dropped into Ogbonnaya’s hands, Hoyer took off running toward Cleveland’s helmet logo at the 50-yard-line with his index finger extended in the air.
Once he neared midfield, Hoyer stopped and pumped his fist in celebration as he did years ago after throwing a TD while playing with his brother and friends behind his family’s home in North Olmsted, Ohio.
"It’s awesome," Hoyer. "It’s cool to play in front of the hometown crowd in this stadium, where I grew up 15 minutes away from."
In his second start in place of injured Brandon Weeden, Hoyer finished 25-for-38 for 269 yards and no interceptions. He threw a 2-yard TD pass in the first half to tight end Jordan Cameron, who had 10 catches for 91 yards.
The Bengals (2-2) couldn’t get anything going on offense and quarterback Andy Dalton was intercepted by Buster Skrine with 3:43 left, ending any chance of a Cincinnati comeback.
Cleveland limited the Bengals to 63 yards rushing and cornerback Joe Haden contained wide receiver A.J. Green.
"We didn’t make enough plays," said Dalton, who finished 23-for-42 for 206 yards.
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