MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — For Damien Williams, the trip to the Super Bowl end zone was especially long.
Undrafted out of college, he made the NFL as a special teamer. Now, five years later, he was crossing the goal line while holding the ball aloft, which made him look like the exclamation point he was to the game.
Williams’ 38-yard touchdown run — his second score in the final 2:44 — punctuated the Kansas City Chiefs’ 31-20 comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.
“You dream of this moment,” Williams said. “It doesn’t feel real yet.”
Williams finished with 104 yards rushing on 17 carries, and added 29 yards on four receptions. The performance came in the stadium of Miami Dolphins, his team in his first four NFL seasons.
Miami signed Williams as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and decided not to re-sign him after the 2017 season.
No hard feelings, Williams said.
“I still have a lot of relationships here,” he said. “They’re a great organization. You think about the Super Bowl, and for it to be where I started my career, it means a lot.”
Still, Williams acknowledged playing the game with a chip on his shoulder, as always.
“I entered the league undrafted,” he said. “I had to fight my way in. The Chiefs told me I had to work to make the team. Hearing the doubt, I bring a lot of attitude to this game.”
Williams joined the Chiefs in 2018 and was a big factor in this year’s postseason run to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title since 1970.
He scored six touchdowns in three games, and helped Kansas City overcome a double-digit deficit in each win.
“He’s one of the hardest-working guys in the business,” teammate Travis Kelce said. “Doesn’t complain about a thing. He puts in the work, and when we hand him the ball we know he’s getting it in the end zone like he did today.”
Williams’ performance helped compensate for Mahomes’ first two career postseason interceptions. The 100-yard rushing effort was the fifth of Williams’ career, and his second in postseason play.
“He came out with his hair on fire,” Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher said. “There is nothing better than blocking for a guy like that. He was running over people.”
Williams caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to put the Chiefs ahead 24-20 with 2:44 left.
After the 49ers lost the ball on downs, Williams sealed the win. He took a handoff, veered to the outside and sprinted to the end zone untouched.
He waved the ball at the crowd and then skipped happily toward his teammates to celebrate.
Afterward, Williams’ cap, T-shirt and smile said he was a Super Bowl champion.
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