Panthers Shock Bolts on Opening Day

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Panthers Shock Bolts on Opening Day
Jake Delhomme stood under center at the Chargers 14-yard line with :02 left in the game and down 24-19. What happened next stunned the not just the San Diego fans, but anyone who thought they knew anything about football.

Delhomme, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, fired the ball into the back of the endzone where he found tight end Dante Rosario for the game-winning touchdown pass as time expired. The catch lifted the Panthers to a shocking 26-24 victory in San Diego against the Chargers, who many believe will be playing in Tampa this February.

Trailing 19-10 with less than 10 minutes to go, the Chargers were able to cut into the lead with an Antonio Gates 24-yard touchdown pass. After a D.J. Hackett turnover, Philip Rivers found Vincent Jackson in the endzone with 2:27 left.

A done deal, one would think? Not so, as Delhomme drove Carolina 68 yards on the come-from-behind drive. The Rajun Cajun went 8-for-11 on the drive and finished the game with 23 completions for 247 yards and a touchdown.

Rosario led all receivers in the game with seven receptions for 96 yards and touchdown. Recently acquired Muhsin Muhammad had six grabs for 56 yards. The running game performed exceptionally well as rookie Johnathan Stewart and former Memphis Tiger Deangelo Williams combined for 139 yards on the ground.

Ladanian Tomlinson failed to get into the endzone and was limited to 97 yards. Gates led the Bolts with four catches for 61 yards and a TD. Gates ran into trouble when he fumbled the ball on the way down and Chris Gamble picked up the loose ball and run into the endzone.

Next week, the Cardiac Cats return to Charlotte for their home-opener against the Chicago Bears (1-0) at Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. and will be broadcast over the Fox Sports network.

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