Nehemiah Broughton knew, of course, that it was only a pre-season game. Still, he couldn't contain his enthusiasm after scoring his first NFL touchdown Saturday night at Carolina.
"I should have asked for the ball, I guess," said Broughton, who scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter. "I was just thinking, 'OK, that's six points. Let's get the extra point, and then let's get back in the game.'"
Getting back in the game never really happened for the Redskins, who fell 28-10 to the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in their preseason opener.
Broughton's short TD burst and a 43-yard field by John Hall were the lone points the Redskins could muster.
It was a big night for Broughton because he's from North Charleston, South Carolina, and The Citadel. Both are a road trip from Charlotte. Broughton said his mother, girlfriend and several friends from The Citadel made the trek to see him get his first experiences in NFL play.
"They're keeping score, so you have to compete," said Broughton, drafted in the seventh round with the 222nd pick overall this year. "You can't take the attitude that it's just a pre-season game."
The 5-11, 255-pound Broughton, affectionately known as "Nemo" to his teammates, finished with seven carries, 28 yards and the touchdown. His long run went for 14 yards. Broughton also caught a pass and picked up 15 yards.
Essentially, this was an audition for the third slot at running back in the Redskins' offense, behind Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts.
Rock Cartwright and Broughton saw most of the action versus Carolina. Also in the mix are Dahrran Diedrick, Jonathan Combs and Brock Forsey.
Cartwright, who looked quick, caught four balls for 47 yards, with a long gain of 24. He rushed four times for 14 yards. Now in his fourth NFL season, Cartwright, now playing at 215 pounds and wearing No. 31, has undergone something of a metamorphosis.
He appears to have something to offer as a receiver out of the backfield, whereas earlier in his Redskins career he was much heavier and was looked upon primarily as a goal-line threat.
Said Broughton: "We knew going in that Clinton and Ladell probably weren't going to get that many carries. There were opportunities for other backs. We all tried to make the most of it. If you're a rookie, you don't get all that many chances to show what you can do."
"Nemo" made the most of it when his number was called against the Panthers, one of the most physical teams in the NFC. In his hometown game, so to speak, Broughton did not disappoint.