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Surprise Passing Game by Air Force Stuns Cards

Air Force cornerback Tre Bugg III (3) and defensive tackle Jordan Jackson (94) dump a cooler of...
Air Force cornerback Tre Bugg III (3) and defensive tackle Jordan Jackson (94) dump a cooler of ice water on head coach Troy Calhoun after their 31-28 victory over Louisville in the First Responder Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)(Jeffrey McWhorter | AP)
Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 11:01 PM EST
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DALLAS, Tx. (WAVE) - Air Force quarterback, Haaziq Daniels threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Falcons past Louisville in the First Responder Bowl 31-28.

Coming into the game, Air Force led the nation in rushing yards averaging over 341 yards-per-game, and had run the ball on over 90 straight plays before torching the Cardinal secondary for 199 yards passing and two long touchdowns. Daniels connected with Brandon Lewis for a 61 yard touchdown to give Air Force a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. After a Trevion Cooley touchdown cut the lead to 14-7, Daniels and Lewis connected again, this time for a 64 yard touchdown pass.

The Cards would answer immediately when Jawhar Jordan returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to cut the deficit to 21-14, but the Falcons scored again before half in their more traditional way, a touchdown run by Daniels to give them a 28-14 halftime lead.

After the Louisville defense forced a three and out, the offense orchestrated a 14 play, 78 yard drive that stalled on fourth and goal when Cooley was stopped on fourth and goal at the Air Force two yard line. After another stop by the Cardinal defense, Louisville finds the end zone. Quarterback, Malik Cunningham hit Tyler Harrell for a 34 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 28-21 just before the end of the third quarter.

Air Force would answer with a 17 play, 9:36 drive, culminating with a field goal to give the Falcons a 31-21 lead. Louisville would answer with a 22 yard Cunningham touchdown, but the Cardinal defense wasn’t able to get off the field to give the offense a chance to force overtime, or win in regulation. Louisville finishes the season with a 6-7 record.

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