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PITTSBURGH -- The comeback James Conner never doubted, not once, officially ended with an unremarkable 1-yard loss. Ron Santo Jersey .And while the Pittsburgh running back picked himself up and quietly headed back to the huddle early in the first quarter against Villanova on Saturday, thousands inside Heinz Field rose to their feet for a standing ovation that had nothing to do with football and everything to do with perseverance.There will be plenty of time for Conner to nitpick his performance in Pitts 28-7 season-opening win. Just not Saturday. Conners well aware of the significance of his familiar No. 24 jersey sprinting onto the field for the first time in 364 days, a layoff that began with a knee injury last September against Youngstown State then became something far more harrowing when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma around Thanksgiving.The road back included months of chemotherapy treatment, sessions that left him drained but undaunted. He soldiered through spring practice wearing a mask during drills to protect his depleted immune system, all the while hoping his example would resonate with those facing similar battles. Its a role he never envisioned having to fill, but one hes willingly embraced.Its why the stands were filled with family members, the medical staff that helped restore him to health and hundreds of friends from back home in Erie, Pennsylvania. Conners two-touchdown performance was as much a testament to their support as it was his resolve. At the same time hes only too happy to put this chapter -- the first chapter anyway -- behind him and get back to football and not the disease that temporarily brought the 2014 ACC Player of the Years blossoming career to a halt.Its not my first game, Conner said. I know its a comeback game but its felt like a regular season football camp really. My battle was already won, beating cancer. Everything else was a reward.There was rust to be sure. There were also signs that hes going to be just fine. The proof came in the second quarter when Conner took a handoff and raced around the left end, stiff-arming a Villanova defender before crossing the goal line to give the Panthers the lead while the teammates who elected him as one of Pitts three captains raced to congratulate him.That first touchdown couldnt be any better, stiff-arm into the end zone right into the student section, quarterback Nate Peterman said. It was an emotional moment.Conner was at it again just before the half, hauling in a 9-yard score by making a difficult grab in traffic over the middle. He finished with 53 yards on 17 carries and added three receptions for 16 yards as Pitt avoided an embarrassing slip-up a week before a highly anticipated showdown with Penn State.Im sure as we watch the tape were going to have a lot of corrections for him, coach Pat Narduzzi said. Mainly that hes looking for a touchdown every play instead of hitting it up there for three or four yards and be happy with it. Its been a long time since he stepped on the field in a game situation. He made plays when he needed to.Quadree Henderson returned the second-half kickoff 96 yards for a score to break things open. Peterman completed 19 of 32 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns, including a pretty 16-yard lob to Jester Weah with six minutes to go. Still, the Panthers managed just 211 total yards.The Wildcats controlled play for portions of the first half, but three straight drives into Pitt territory failed to produce any points, giving the Panthers time to get going. Rob Rolle returned a Peterman fumble 3 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter for Villanovas only score.THE TAKEAWAYVillanova: Coach Andy Tally said entering his 32nd and final season the Wildcats will have to rely heavily on their defense. Theres reason for optimism as Villanova stayed within striking distance, keeping Pitts running game in check for the most part and preventing big plays.Pitt: The Panthers will need the passing game to develop quickly if they want to make noise in the crowded ACC Coastal Division. Villanova stacked the line of scrimmage and dared Peterman to throw it, which he did with only middling success.UP NEXTVillanova: Host Lehigh in their home opener.Pitt: Resumes its rivalry with Penn State after a 15-year hiatus when the Nittany Lions visit Heinz Field.---AP College Football site: Harold Baines Jersey .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. Early Wynn Jersey . The incident occurred at 19:56 of the second period of the Kings 4-2 road win over Edmonton on Sunday. Nolan punched Oilers forward Jesse Joensuu in the jaw in front of the Kings goal during a scrum. . -- Anaheim Ducks captain and leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf has been scratched from Sunday nights game against the Vancouver Canucks because of an upper-body injury. Lawrence Thomas knows he will feature in every highlights reel for this A-League season for the wrong reason.The Melbourne Victory goalkeeper is the one watching and then diving in vain as Tim Cahills 40-metre rocket scorched past him and into the net in this seasons first Melbourne derby.Its a great finish, Thomas told AAP, underplaying the strike just a touch.It was perhaps the A-Leagues best ever goal.The stunning moment had Melbourne City fans screaming, Victory fans speechless, and Thomas himself sprawled on the grass.But the mature 24-year-old gloveman has already accepted it as the goalkeepers lot.And theres no way hell be retreating from his advanced position as a sweeper-keeper when Cahill or any other forward is on the ball, 40 metres from goal.If I cop one of those a season Ill take that on the chin, he said.Nonetheless Ill continue to be in that position.I cut out a lot more balls coming through than I do conceding goals from that position and the ones I cut out are one-on-one chances.While Thomas conceded four on that October night, itd be hard to pin blame for any of them at his feet.And since then, Thomas has formed part of one of the meanest A-League defences.Victory has conceded just five goals in seven games - and one in the last month - to surge to third on the A-League table. Carlton Fisk Jersey. Thomas - who was in goal for Victorys 2015 grand final win - said he was feeling confident after starting an A-League season as Victorys first-choice gloveman.I feel like Im having a solid season. Thats the greatest thing about getting a regular league spot, you get a chance weekly to perform, he said.I look back at the goals I have conceded and quite a few of them have been great finishes.Im not happy to concede. I never want to get beaten.But if youre covering certain areas of the goal and people are beating you by off the post and in or top corners, then yknow.A win over City would have Kevin Muscats side in second place with that catch-up game against Wellington Phoenix to come.Thomas said he believed Victorys early-season inconsistency had been banished and a derby day success would cement their resurgence.One week we looked fantastic and the next we didnt turn up, he said.But the last patch of five, six, seven games has been very solid. The inconsistency is gone and were in decent form.Its a massive game and especially for the fans.Coming into Christmas, we have a massive responsibility to send fans home happy. Wholesale Authentic JerseysWholesale NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys AuthenticCheap Jerseys 2018Cheap Nike NFL JerseysWholesale Jerseys 2020Jerseys From China ' ' '