CI Week 16 Football Highlights

It was a reduced slate of games with bowl season just around the corner, but a few CI coaches picked up big wins. Check out highlights from Week 16 below.

Behind Kenyan Drake's four TD's, Cardinals snap losing streak against Browns
In a matchup headlined by two former Heisman winning Sooner quarterbacks, it was a running back who ended up stealing the show. Kenyan Drake, acquired by the Cardinals in a mid-season trade with the Dolphins, ran for a season-high 137 yards and scored four touchdowns as the Cardinals beat the Browns, 38-24. Drake's third touchdown put Arizona up 28-17 late in the third quarter. Cleveland responded with a drive inside Cardinal territory, but came up empty when kicker Austin Seibert missed a 45-yard field goal. On Arizona's ensuing possession, Drake scored on a 17-yard run for his fourth touchdown and then Cardinals' kicker Zane Gonzalez put the game out of reach with a field goal to extend the lead to 38-17. In addition to a solid outing from Gonzalez, the Cardinals also excelled in kickoff coverage, holding Browns returner Dontrell Hilliard to a 16.8 yard average on four returns. On the season, Arizona ranks in the top 10 in the league for kickoff coverage, allowing just 20.61 yards per return. Congratulations to Cardinals Asst. Special Teams Coach Randall McCray (@mccray_randall) on the win and strong coverage! McCray is in his second season in Arizona after a two-year stint as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Texas State. He previously served as the defensive coordinator at Gardner-Webb for three seasons, where he led the Runnin' Bulldogs to the best season on defense in program history. In 26 seasons at the college level, McCray worked with special teams and all defensive position groups during stops at Pitt, Wisconsin, Middle Tennessee, Toledo, Clemson and South Carolina among others.

Lopers start fast, rush for six TD's to record fourth all-time postseason win
For the first time since 1955, Nebraska-Kearney is able to celebrate a bowl game win. Led by Head Coach Josh Lynn (@CoachJoshLynn), the Lopers defeated Winona State, 50-33, to claim the 54th edition of the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, MO. Lynn's offense raced out to a 15-0 lead in the first six minutes thanks to two touchdown runs by QB T.J. Davis. The Warriors pulled to within six points on two occasions in the first half, but the Lopers opened up a 36-19 halftime lead and never looked back from there. For the game, Davis rushed for 148 yards and four scores to go along with one passing touchdown. RB Darrius Webb led all rushers with 177 yards on the ground and one rushing touchdown. Kearney's win capped an incredible career for a class of seniors that went winless in 2015 and only won one game in 2016. With a 7-5 final record, the Lopers claimed the school's first winning season since 2011 and just the fourth postseason victory in program history dating back to 1905. Congratulations to Lynn on another successful rebuilding project! Before arriving at Kearney in 2017, Lynn spent five seasons as the head coach at his alma mater, Eastern New Mexico. The Greyhounds went 3-7 in 2012, but turned things around the following season, winning the 2013 Lone Star Conference Championship with an 8-3 record while Lynn was named a finalist for national coach of the year. In 2011, he engineered a similar turnaround in one season as the head coach at New Mexico Military Institute, as the team improved upon a 3-8 record in 2010 to go 9-2 and finish the season ranked sixth in the nation.

Quick Hits
  • Congratulations to Navy Defensive Assistant Joe Battaglia (@CoachBatts) on the Midshipmen's win in the 120th Army-Navy Game!
  • Christopher Columbus H.S. rallied from a 20-7 deficit in the final 4:37 to win the Florida Class 8A state championship game on Friday night. Congratulations to Head Coach Dave Dunn (@cchsballcoach)!

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