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(Sunday, December 19th)
Final Score: Carolina 19, Arizona 12
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Jimmy Clausen won his first game and John Kasay kicked four field goals as the Carolina Panthers took a 19-12 win over the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium.
Clausen, the 48th pick in this year's draft out of Notre Dame, went 13-for-19 with 141 yards and a touchdown pass to help the Panthers (2-12) snap a seven- game losing streak. Jonathan Stewart ran for 137 yards on 27 carries, while Jeff King caught the touchdown pass.
"It feels great to come into the locker room after a game like this," said Clausen. "It's a good win for us and hopefully it's something that we can build on. Everything seemed to click pretty well for us today."
John Skelton threw for 196 yards on 17-of-33 passing with an interception as the Cardinals (4-10) failed to build on last week's 43-13 dismantling of Denver and lost for the eighth time in nine games. Steven Breaston scored the lone Arizona touchdown when he recovered a Tim Hightower fumble in the end zone late in the game.
"It was a disappointing loss for us," said Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt. "We didn't play well early and made too many mistakes to dig ourselves back from. We didn't make plays out there."
Stewart's 35-yard run on Carolina's first play from scrimmage set up Kasay's 28-yard field goal 4 1/2 minutes in.
After an Arizona punt, which saw Carolina pinned at its own nine-yard line, the Panthers went 80 yards in 14 plays, but again had to settle for three points on Kasay's 29-yard boot for a 6-0 lead in the final moments of the first quarter.
Skelton was picked off by Sherrod Martin deep in Arizona territory, and the next play saw Clausen hit King on a 16-yard score for a 13-0 lead with 8:42 left in the half.
Jay Feely hit a 23-yard field goal with just 36 seconds left in the first half to get Arizona on the board.
Arizona attempted an onsides kick to start the second half, but it didn't work and Carolina used the short field to take a 16-3 lead on a 24-yard field goal from Kasay.
Kasay connected on his fourth field goal of the game from 43 yards out with 27 seconds left in the third quarter for a 19-3 lead.
Arizona finally got in the end zone with a seven-play, 74-yard drive that saw Breaston jump on a fumble by Hightower in the end zone. The two-point conversion failed and it was a 19-9 game with 5:41 to play.
Feely's 30-yard field goal in the final minute made it a one-score contest, but Carolina recovered the onsides kick and ran out the clock.
Carolina controlled the ball for almost 37 minutes...Carolina has taken seven straight against Arizona...Carolina, which finished the home portion of its season 2-6, plays its final two games on the road with next weeks contest in Pittsburgh on Thursday...Arizona plays at home against Dallas on Christmas Day...Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald finished the game with nine catches for 125 yards. He went over 600 catches and 8,000 yards for his career.
12/19 19:39:19 ET
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