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Need a one-stop shop to catch up on the top sports stories big and small? Time Out For Sports airs Mondays on WFAE's "All Things Considered" and has what you need to know about everything from Charlotte-area high school football highlights to the latest updates on the Carolina Panthers.

Panthers, Hornets give Charlotte sports fans a weekend to remember

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Newly returned Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, left, and running back Christian McCaffrey celebrate after the Panthers' 34-10 win over the Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021.

It was a big weekend for Charlotte sports. The Hornets beat the Warriors at the Spectrum Center. But a lot of eyes were locked on Arizona, where Cam Newton returned to the field as Carolina’s quarterback for a 34-10 Panthers victory over the Cardinals.

Panthers fans were absolutely ecstatic when Newton ran for a touchdown almost immediately after taking to the field, then pulled his helmet off and shouted “I’m back” in a moment that’s since gone viral.

“I think that was just months and months of frustration of not being on a team, feeling that there weren’t 32 quarterbacks better than him in the NFL, which there weren’t, and it all came out in one big emotional outburst, ” The Charlotte Observer’s Langston Wertz Jr. told WFAE “All Things Considered” host Gwendolyn Glenn on this week’s Time Out for Sports. “I thought it was fun. Cam injected a level of fun into the team that they haven’t had. The Panthers had their swagger back.”

Teammates say Newton brings a can-do attitude to Carolina, which had been struggling for weeks. But P.J. Walker, who was the Panthers’ starting quarterback, had a good game, too.

“I thought P.J. Walker was outstanding,” Wertz said. “I think lost in the Cam fest was the fact that this guy was 22 out of 29 passing, 167 yards in a big moment.”

But let’s not forget about the Hornets. Charlotte beat Golden State at home on Sunday, 106-102, after back-to-back away victories vs. the Knicks and the Grizzlies. Terry Rozier came through in a crunch at the end, and LaMelo Ball was a key player, too.

“The Hornets played great defense,” Wertz said. “Golden State had a seven-game win streak. They shot 42% from the field, and they made just nine of 39 3-point shots, and as you know, Golden State’s a 3-point-shooting team. If they shoot 23% from 3, you’re probably going to have a pretty good chance, and Charlotte only allowed 14 fourth-quarter points. That’s just something you want to see from the Hornets is that good, aggressive defense, because you know they can score the ball.”

You can listen to the full Time Out for Sports conversation above. Here’s a quick look at what else Glenn and Wertz covered.

  • Wake Forest’s football team beat N.C. State and is still undefeated in the ACC despite a loss to UNC Chapel Hill that didn’t count as an ACC loss. 
  • Powerhouse Clemson has struggled this football season. 
  • High school football playoffs are ongoing in North Carolina.

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