Arrambide leads KWC Football to another comeback victory

KWC Media Day.
KWC Media Day.
Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 12:42 AM CDT
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OWENSBORO, KY. (WFIE) - For the second straight week, Christian Arrambide willed his team to victory, rushing for three touchdowns and throwing for 334 yards in a 31-28 win over Walsh. The Panthers 2-1 start is their best start since the 2010 team went 3-1 to open their campaign. 

With the win the Panthers move to 2-1 (1-0 G-MAC), while the Cavaliers fall to 2-1 (0-1 G-MAC). 

The game started off slow for the Panthers, as they failed to score in the opening quarter. Walsh took advantage, scoring on a short three-yard touchdown on their second drive of the game to make it 7-0 after one. 

Wesleyan answered back with a scoring drive of their own, which was capped off by a 39-yard field goal from Blake Vivrette. After two failed drives from both teams, Walsh scored another touchdown with just 1:25 left in the half to go up 14-3. The boys in the purple and white answered right back, as Christian Arrambide hit Khia Sherrard on a 38-yard completion to stop the clock, which was followed by a defensive pass interference call that allowed the Panthers to get even further up the field. On the Walsh 22-yard line with just 54 seconds remaining in the half, Arrambide faked the toss to his left and scampered into the end zone to put the Panthers down by just four at the half, 14-10. 

On the Panther’s first drive of the third quarter, Arrambide and Camden Williams connected for their usual big play, as Williams hauled in a 52-yard reception from Arrambide to put the Panthers in perfect scoring position. Arrambide then took it himself a few plays later, taking it in for the touchdown and making it 17-14 in favor of the home side. Walsh quickly answered back on their next drive, scoring a touchdown of their own to make it 21-17. Walsh’s final drive of the quarter was quickly halted by Kajuan Hardesty, who was a part of two sacks in three plays to stop any Walsh hope of extending their lead. 

The Panthers methodically moved up the field on their first drive of the final quarter, eventually capping it off with a touchdown thanks to a 25-yard run from Camran McNeil. Walsh answered yet again, scoring a touchdown with 6:43 left on the clock to put the pressure on the home side. After drives from both sides ended with no points, the Panthers started their final drive with just 1:42 remaining. After a few rushes to gain some yardage, Arramide hit Deonco Wilkerson for a big 25-yard completion to make it 1st and 10 from the Walsh 28. Facing a 3rd and nine, Arrambide and McNeil connected on a 10-yard completion to move the chains yet again. A huge completion to Khia Sherrard put the Panthers on the three yard line with just 26 seconds remaining. Arrambide took advantage of the close distance, scoring on a short run to put the Panthers ahead 31-28. With just 11 seconds to go 80 yards, Walsh’s hopes were dashed after Ja’Kobe North and John Purdy made the final tackle to seal the win.

Christian Arrambide went 21-for-38 with 334 passing yards in the game. He also led the team in rushing, running for 74 yards and three touchdowns. Camran McNeil also did plenty of damage on the ground, rushing for 62 yards and a touchdown of his own. Camden Williams once again led the Panthers in receiving yards, hauling in three passes for 99 yards. Deonco Wilkerson (89) and Khia Sherrard (70) each nabbed over 50 receiving yards as well. 

Defensively, the Panthers were led by Bishop Byrd, who tallied 11 total tackles, including 1.0 TFL and 0.5 sacks. Freshman John Purdy showed out in his first game as a Panther, coming through with eight total tackles, including 0.5 TFL. Always a menace is Kajuan Hardesty, who led the team with 1.5 sacks on the night, to go along with his six tackles. 

Kentucky Wesleyan will look to keep their winning streak alive next week, as they host the Ohio Dominican Panthers for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT at Steele Stadium.