FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Not risking his starters on a three-day turnaround, New York Coach Tom Coughlin let the Giants’ reserves close out the preseason against the New England Patriots.

And some of the greenest players on the roster turned a stalemate into an entertaining exhibition finale as the Giants scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to rally past the Patriots, 18-17.

Rookie Da’Rel Scott ran a fake punt 65 yards for a touchdown and Derrick Martin returned a fumble 11 yards for a score in the final period for the Giants, who had just played the Jets on Monday night.

“I thought these young guys played hard. They did make a lot of errors, particularly in the first half,” Coughlin said. “But they kept playing. They played hard.”

While happy, Coughlin wasn’t getting carried away. This wasn’t exactly a rematch of the 2008 Super Bowl.

Just three days after a loss to the Jets, Coughlin wasn’t taking chances with quarterback Eli Manning and the rest of his starters. And New England used quarterback Tom Brady and the rest of the first team for only the first quarter and one play in the second period.

“We usually play them,” Coughlin said. “Our offensive team could have used a good solid quarter.”

It was largely a battle of reserves as the Giants rested their starters and New England’s first string played just long enough to take a 17-3 lead on the first play of the second quarter.

Brady passed for 116 yards in the first quarter and BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored twice on 1-yard runs for the Patriots (2-2).

David Carr, battling Sage Rosenfels for the backup job behind Manning, completed 13 of 21 passes for 116 yards with an interception. He fumbled at the New England 1-yard line, ending an 83-yard drive, as the Giants (2-2) turned the ball over three times.

He also took plenty of hits as the reserve offensive linemen tried to keep the Patriots’ starters from getting to him.

Carr’s ribs were wrapped and iced in the locker room where he and the Giants wearily celebrated the end of the preseason.

“I can’t remember the last time I played that long,” Carr said. “I mean, it’s been multiple years. So just to kind of dust some of the rust off, it was good to get out there, get banged around a little bit, get your ribs beat up. It felt like I was a football player a little bit.”

Carr was replaced in the fourth quarter by fourth-stringer Ryan Perrilloux, who ended up giving the Giants their first lead on a 2-point conversion pass to Jerrel Jernigan after Martin’s touchdown return with 9:40 left. That avoided any threat of overtime.

“It was a good, competitive game,” New England Coach Bill Belichick said. “We learned a lot about what we have, but we’re looking forward to the start of the season.”

The Patriots took advantage of New York blunders early, forcing a turnover on the first play from scrimmage and scoring a touchdown on the next to lead 10-3 before the quarter was over. New England added a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, and that was it for the starters.

Brady completed 5 of 9 before giving way to backup Brian Hoyer in the second quarter.