CLEVELAND -- All week, Jeremy Hill kept telling himself to stay out of the front row of FirstEnergy Stadium's stands.
He didn't listen.
About seven minutes into the start of the second half of Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals running back planted his body into the arms of a Bengals fan who gladly embraced him as he leaped over the sizable end zone wall. Nearly a year to the day after Hill was denied entry into the Dawg Pound's seats, he finally pulled off the touchdown celebration.
"It just kind of happened; a spur-of-the-moment type thing," Hill said, grinning. "But it's done, it's over with. We got the win and that's all that matters."
The Bengals beat the Browns 37-3 to improve to 10-2.
Last December, in another Bengals-Browns game in Cleveland, Hill attempted a celebratory leap into the stands when a Browns fan pushed his helmet down, preventing him from entering. At the time, Hill had seen a couple of Bengals fans and wanted to jump up with them. He said this time around, he had no idea who the fans were in the area around him. He simply wanted to jump.
"It's a good leap," Hill said about getting over the tall wall.
While it was easy for Hill to smile after his 1-yard touchdown run and 98-yard rushing performance, there was no levity in the Browns' locker room after the game. Cleveland linebacker Chris Kirksey, who pulled Hill out of the stands after the leap and ended up having words with him, wasn't amused.
Asked how frustrating it was seeing Hill celebrate that way in his home stadium, Kirksey simply said, "Very."
Kirksey was slapped with a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after he ripped Hill off the wall. When he saw a white jersey enter the stands, Kirksey said, he simply had to go get the player down. Browns fans cheered.
"I was zoned out," Kirksey said. "I was just trying to protect the end zone, protect the house."
Hill said he respected Kirksey's actions.
"Obviously if people did that in our place, we wouldn't be too happy about it," Hill said, adding, "No, I wasn't making a statement. I just re-tried what I did last year and was more successful with it.
"I guess it's my nature at the end of the day."
ESPN Browns reporter Pat McManamon contributed to this report.