SAN DIEGO (AP) – Leave it LaDainian Tomlinson to rescue the floundering San Diego Chargers.

Tomlinson scored three touchdowns late in the second half and finished with 172 yards on 18 carries to lift the Chargers to a sloppy 32-25 win over the lowly Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Tomlinson had consecutive 100-yard rushing games for the first time this season. Last week he ran for 183 yards, had 57 yards receiving and scored three times to vault into second place in the NFL in both yards rushing and yards from scrimmage.

He has three 100-yard rushing games this season, plus 14 touchdowns.

With Cleveland’s offense sputtering, Phil Dawson kicked a club-record six field goals – from 37, 20, 42, 30, 36 and 35 yards.

The Chargers (6-2) were trailing 12-10 when Tomlinson broke a 41-yard touchdown run with 1:08 left in the third quarter. The Chargers had great field position after pinning the Browns on their 2 and forcing them to punt.

Tomlinson scored on runs of 7 and 8 yards in the fourth quarter. His big day helped offset the Chargers’ 12 penalties for 113 yards.

Until Tomlinson’s first TD, the Chargers hadn’t scored on offense since Nate Kaeding kicked a 29-yard field goal on the game’s opening drive.

They did get a defensive touchdown when Marques Harris, making his second start in place of injured outside linebacker Shaun Phillips, recovered Charlie Frye’s fumble in the end zone in the second quarter.

On the way back to the bench, Harris did a cartwheel and a backflip.

The Browns (2-6) finally scored a TD with 1:11 left when Braylon Edwards caught a 4-yard pass from Frye.

Cleveland tight end Kellen Winslow was booed every time his name was announced at the same stadium where his Hall of Fame father of the same name starred for the Chargers from 1979-87, and some fans cheered when he got hurt late in the game. He returned a few plays later.

During the week, Winslow hyped his matchup with Chargers All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates as a heavyweight match, then went on to say he was the best tight end in the NFL.

Winslow, who missed most of the last two seasons with injuries, and Gates talked and shook hands while both offenses milled around during a long review in the second quarter.

Winslow had 11 catches for 78 yards. Gates had two catches for 22 yards.

The Browns were trying to win consecutive games for the first time in more than three seasons. For a while, it looked like they might succeed.

The Browns led 12-10 after a first half that was as wacky as it was tedious, with five field goals and only one TD.

Dawson kicked his fourth field goal of the half, from 30 yards, with 1 second left. It came at the end of a frantic two-minute drill that began when San Diego’s Keenan McCardell fumbled after a catch.

San Diego had taken a 10-6 lead on Harris’ fumble recovery. With the ball on the Browns 18, Frye dropped back, was hit by Randall Godfrey, stumbled and lost the ball. Harris went to pick it up and kicked it toward the end zone, where he jumped on it.

The Browns came right back and pulled to 10-9 after they were given a second chance.

Frye was sacked at the Chargers 37 and the Browns’ punt team ran onto the field. Safety Brian Russell, a former quarterback at San Diego State, appeared to be setting up for a fake when the Chargers called timeout.

Dawson then missed a 54-yard field goal attempt, but the Chargers were flagged for unsporstmanlike conduct for trying to call a second straight timeout, apparently because they had 12 men on the field.

Four plays later, Dawson kicked a 42-yard field goal to pulled the Browns to 10-9.

The Browns got inside the Chargers 20-yard line on their first two possessions, including when Dennis Northcutt had an 81-yard punt return. But unimaginative play-calling forced them to settle for field goals of 37 and 20 yards by Dawson.

Kaeding kicked a 29-yard field goal midway through the first quarter.

AP-ES-11-05-06 2001EST

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