FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky State Thorobreds started strong out of the gate and held on down the stretch to beat the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers 30-23 Saturday at home in Alumni Stadium.
The Thorobreds scored first on a 9-yard Paul Campbell strike to Johnathan Powell in the first quarter and extended their lead to 14-0 on a 1-yard sneak by Campbell in the second quarter. The Panthers then briefly cut the lead in half when quarterback Mike McGee and receiver Trey Wallenmire connected on a 27-yard pass play. But Kentucky State’s Brett Sylve returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead back to 14 points at 21-7 headed into the half.
Campbell then found Desmond Williams on a 14-yard scoring play barely three minutes into the second half, and the Thorobreds 27-7 lead would prove to be enough despite a late charge by Wesleyan. The Panthers cut the lead to 27-13, and Kentucky State responded with a field goal to make it 30-13 before the visitors went to work chipping away at the lead.
A field goal trimmed the Thorobreds’ lead back to 14 points at 30-16, and then the Panthers were able to add a late touchdown with 2:50 remaining in the game to get within one score at 30-23. The Thorobreds, however, were able to hold onto the ball long enough to reach the finish line by running out the clock to secure their first win of the 2017 season.
Kentucky State returns to action next Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., for its annual rivalry game against Central State. The Circle City Classic will kick off at 3 p.m. ET at the home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. Wesleyan, meanwhile, will take a week off before returning to the road for a September 30 game at Hillsdale.
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