Hester's record leads Bears to victory over Panthers

October 3, 2011

By The Associated Press

(AP/Nam Y. Huh)
Wide receiver Devin Hester (23) flips in the end zone after returning a punt 69 yards for a touchdown against Carolina.

Devin Hester set an NFL record with his 11th punt return for a touchdown, Matt Forte ran for a career-high 205 yards and the Chicago Bears beat Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 34-29 on Sunday.

Hester had earlier set up a touchdown run by Forte with a 73-yard kickoff return before he ran back a punt 69 yards in the second quarter to move ahead of Eric Metcalf on the all-time list. He performed three somersaults in the end zone with the lead at 24-10, but the celebration was a little early.

The Panthers cut the lead to four points at halftime and had their chances to take the lead in the second half but came up short, spoiling coach Ron Rivera's return to Soldier Field.