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October 21, 2012

Panthers 7, Cowboys 3, halftime

 After wasting some earlier opportunities, the Panthers got a five-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton to Brandon LaFell with 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead over Dallas into halftime at Bank of America Stadium.

   The possession started with a takeaway when Thomas Davis knocked the ball free from Cowboys receiver Thomas Davis and it was recovered by linebacker Luke Kuechly, giving the Panthers possession at the Dallas 20-yard line after an illegal block penalty against Charles Godfrey.

   The Panthers squandered good field position in the first quarter, failing to score after starting their first two possessions at the 40 and 45-yard line, respectively.

   The Cowboys used a grinding 18-play, 91-yard drive to take a 3-0 early in the second quarter on a Dan Bailey field goal. Dallas chewed up 10 minutes, 10 seconds with the possession. The Cowboys converted four third-downs on the drive before stalling at the Carolina 1-yard line.

   The Panthers finally mounted a drive of their own behind Newton's running and throwing. 

   Newton had a 24-yard scramble on third down to keep the drive alive at the Dallas 30-yard line. Two plays later, Newton kept the ball on a designed play and rumbled 21 yards to the Cowboys' 7-yard line. 

   But the drive died suddenly when Newton was intercepted in the end zone by Cowboys rookie Morris Claiborne. Newton was looking for receiver Louis Murphy in the end zone when he was hit as began his throw. The pass came up well short and Claiborne made a diving catch to end the Carolina threat.

   The Panthers were without starting middle linebacker Jon Beason and cornerback Chris Gamble, both inactive due to injuries. It was also their first game since losing Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil to a season-ending foot injury.

-- Ron Green Jr.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 21, 2012 at 02:18 PM | Permalink

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