Another meaningless NFL preseason game?

Backups vs. backups?

"Garbage time" in the fourth quarter?

Not for Corey Washington. When the North Charleston High School graduate scored the game-winning touchdown for the New York Giants on Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills, the rookie wide receiver was paying tribute to his late cousin.

Washington pointed skyward after scoring on a 73-yard pass from backup quarterback Ryan Nassib in the Giants' 17-13 Hall of Fame Game victory in Canton, Ohio.

That was for G-Vonne Washington, who was just six when he drowned in a swimming pool at a North Charleston apartment complex in June of 2010.

"He always talked about how he wanted me to be (in the NFL), how he wanted to be just like me," Washington told Conor Orr of the Newark Star-Ledger. "He always rooted for me."

After two years at Georgia Military College, Washington enrolled at Newberry. He caught 51 passes in two seasons for the Wolves and signed with the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in May. He was cut two weeks later and signed by the Giants on May 29.

Washington remains a longshot to make the team. He is not among the top six receivers on the Giants' depth chart.

But he is 6-4. He has plenty of heart, and heartache turned to motivation after the loss of G-Vonne.

"Before the play, I said I had a feeling the quarterback was going to come my way," Washington told the Star-Ledger. "And I said, this one is for y'all. Just like that. I said it to myself. I caught the ball and pointed to the sky when I got to the end zone."

The Giants play their next preseason game at home Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff