Panthers fall in Cure Bowl

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The Panthers football  program played the San Jose State Spartans in the inaugural Cure Bowl in only six years after the team played its first season.

The atmosphere stood with the most hostile Georgia State crowds of the season, as Panther fans made the six and a half hour drive from the Georgia Dome to Orlando, Florida.

The first half appeared as if both schools were shaking off the anxiety of the big game. The Spartans threatened to strike the first touchdown of the game before being held to a field goal. Shortly after that score, with 8:55 to go in the half, Spartan star running back Tyler Ervin returned a punt for 84-yard touchdown to give San Jose State a 10-0 lead.

On the next drive for Georgia State, Nick Arbuckle completed a pair of passes to freshman tight end Ari Werts, who started in place of junior Keith Rucker Jr. who was inactive after sustaining an injury at Georgia Southern on Dec. 5. Senior Donovan Harden finished the drive with a 38-yard touchdown catch.

San Jose State ended the half with a hail mary touchdown that was called back.

Second half scoring began with a San Jose State field goal after the defense held the Spartans at the offense’s 2-yard line. The San Jose State punter lost the snap in the back of the team’s end zone which led to a safety that cut the deficit to 13-9. The ensuing drive led to a 19-yard touchdown to sophomore Todd Boyd.

The Panthers first lead of the night would live shortly as Spartan quarterback Kenny Potter ran for a school record seventh rushing touchdown from a quarterback with 9:15 to go in the fourth quarter. After a failed fourth down conversion from Georgia State, Potter completed a touchdown pass with 2:40 in the fourth to clinch the Spartans win, 27-16.