Leon Washington stunned the San Diego Chargers and electrified the Qwest Field crowd

Leon Washington stunned the San Diego Chargers and electrified the Qwest Field crowd by returning the second-half kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown, hiking the Seattle Seahawks’ lead to 17-0 in their game today at Qwest Field.

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Matt Hasselbeck had connected with tight end John Carlson on a 9-yard touchdown with under a minute to play in the first half to give the Seahawks a 10-0 lead.

Following a San Diego fumble – the Chargers’ third turnover of the half – the Seahawks had another golden scoring chance from inside the San Diego 5. But Hasselbeck was denied on a QB keeper near the goal line. The Seahawks – out of timeouts – tried to get the field goal unit on, but time ran out in the half before kicker Olindo Mare could get his field goal attempt airborne.

The Hasselbeck-Carlson touchdown ended a 3-play, 41-yard drive following a San Diego punt which Golden Tate returned 13 yards to the Seattle 49. A defensive holding penalty set the Seahawks up at the Chargers 41.

On second down, Justin Forsett broke loose on a 32-yard run to the 9. From there, Hasselbeck and Carlson teamed up on the TD pass.

The Seahawks missed a scoring chance on their previous possession when Hasselbeck and receiver Deion Branch hooked up on an apparent 42-yard touchdown pass. But San Diego defender Paul Oliver jarred the ball loose just just before Branch crossed the goal line, a fumble that rolled out the back of the end zone.

After an officials’ review, the play was ruled a touchback, and San Diego took over at its own 20.

Mare kicked a 23-yard field goal early in the second quarter that capped an 80-yard, nine-play Seattle scoring drive. Hasselbeck completed three of four passes on the drive, one for 25 yards to Carlson and one for 11 to wide receiver Golden Tate.

The teams exchanged turnovers later in the second quarter. On the first play after the Seahawks forced the Chargers to punt, Hasselbeck threw a pass on first down from the San Diego 41 that was intercepted by the Chargers’ Quentin Jammer in the end zone.

The Chargers drove to a first down at the Seattle 12, where the Seahawks’ David Hawthorne forced a Mike Tolbert fumble that was recovered by the Hawks’ Red Bryant at the 7-yard line, ending the Chargers’ best scoring chance of the first half.