Wilford’s score leads Dolphins past Jags 12-9

MIAMI — Ernest Wilford needed only one catch to surpass his productivity for the Miami Dolphins last season.

Seeking to shake the label of free-agent bust, Wilford caught a 33-yard touchdown pass against his former team for the game’s lone touchdown Monday night, and Miami beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 12-9.

It was only a preseason game, and Wilford’s big play came against reserves, but it suggested his recent move to tight end might work. He made only three catches for 25 yards as a wide receiver last season after signing a four-year contract for $6 million guaranteed.

Wilford juked past a defender and ran the final 15 yards after catching Chad Henne’s pass. Henne played about half the game and looked sharp, going 7 for 11 for 94 yards with one interception.

Many starters were gone by the end of the first quarter, and the game was filled with penalties and sputtering offense. Heavy rain in the third quarter further contributed to the sloppiness.

Quarterbacks Chad Pennington and David Garrard came out after one quarter. Pennington went 4 for 7 for 38 yards and led a 35-yard drive that ended with a field goal.

Garrard went 4 for 7 for 22 yards in three series. He encountered heavy pressure and led the Jaguars to only one first down.

“We have to get better at some of the protection issues,” Garrard said. “I have to make sure I get everybody lined up in the right spots.”

The lone first down with Garrard came on a 10-yard completion to newly acquired Torry Holt. That was the only reception by Holt, a seven-time Pro Bowl receiver.

“I had been anticipating this day for a long time,” Holt said. “I enjoyed it and it was a lot of fun. I am looking forward to many more.”

Jaguars backup quarterback Todd Bouman went 10 for 18 for 130 yards with one interception — by Dolphins rookie Sean Smith in the end zone.

Smith started and played much of the game. His competition at cornerback, first-round draft pick Vontae Davis, drew three penalties. Davis was flagged for pass interference on third down, for fair-catch interference on a punt, and for a personal foul on a punt return.

Jacksonville receiver Troy Williams made four catches for 74 yards. Jags kicker Josh Scobee went 3 for 3 on field-goal tries.

A holding penalty negated Bouman’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Chauncey Washington.

The teams reported only one injury. Jacksonville middle linebacker Justin Durant hurt his hip flexor in the first quarter and didn’t return.

Jaguars backup defensive tackle Derek Landri had a sack and hurried Henne into an interception by Brian Witherspoon.

Jacksonville’s revamped starting offensive line played the entire first half. First-round draft pick Eugene Monroe, who signed a $25 million, five-year contract Friday, saw action off the bench at left tackle.

“We are going to be physical up front,” Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. “I liked what we did up front.”

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