INDIANAPOLIS – The last time Boom Herron notched more than 100 yards, he called a team with Indiana roots his foe opposed to playing for a team from the Hoosier state.
That day was November 5, 2011, when his Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Indiana Hoosiers 34-20 in Columbus. The then-senior ironically tallied 141 yards on that day as well, all of which came on the ground.
Herron's outing and first quarter touchdown helped the Colts defeat the Bengals 26-10 at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday afternoon. The Colts will face the Denver Broncos in next Sunday's AFC Divisional round at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
For the first time this season, the Colts began the game with an opening drive touchdown on a series that featured Herron early and often. It was an opportunity that he hoped for, and one on which he would capitalize.
That possession saw Herron account for three first downs and record 58 yards by way of two receptions and three rushes, including a two-yard touchdown run to cap off the 71-yard, nine play scoring drive.
"I was very excited for the opportunity," he said. "This is one of those things that once you get the opportunity, you take full advantage of it."
Prior to today, Herron's game-high had been 96 yards. That came against Jacksonville and Washington this year, both in the month of November. By halftime Sunday afternoon the Warren, OH native was two yards shy of eclipsing that mark.
The performance has not come as a surprise to fellow teammates and especially rookie guard Jack Mewhort, who has seen Herron's work ethic on display since their days together at Ohio State.
"I've known Boom is a tough, hard-nose runner for a long-time," Mewhort said. "The way he's running now and what he's doing after the catch now is not surprising to me. He's a gutsy player. He's not afraid to be physical and that's showing. I think that's the kind of back you want in your backfield."
Herron led all rushers Sunday afternoon with 56 yards while adding an additional 85 through the air.
"We definitely want to get the running game going and to try to execute some good runs and help Andrew (Luck) out," Herron said. "I think we did a good job today bouncing some things out and most of all the offensive line did a great job."
Herron's contributions Sunday and over the better part of second half of the season have come at the right time for the Colts, who will face the Broncos at 4:40 EST next Sunday.
"He can create when there's not much there," head coach Chuck Pagano said. "He's got the ability to create his own yards and make people miss in space especially on the check-downs and things like that in the pass game."
Photos from the Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Bengals