• Jordan Simal

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Air Force @ Louisville Game Notes

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

Dec. 28, 2021

3:15 p.m.

Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX


After both teams exchanged punts to begin the game, surged from scrimmage. Long runs for 22 yards from freshman running back Trevion Cooley and 34 yards from redshirt junior quarterback Malik Cunningham propelled Louisville’s rushing attack on their second drive, and got the Cardinals deep into Falcons territory. But Louisville sophomore kicker James Turner missed a 44-yard field goal to keep the game scoreless

Air Force 0, Louisville 0.

In response, the Falcons opened their second drive with a 40-yard pass from junior quarterback Haaziq Daniels to sophomore tight end Caleb Rillos, which set Air Force up with great field position at the Louisville 34-yard line. Focusing on the option run for the rest of the drive, Daniels found the endzone just nine plays later to put the Falcons up early after a five-yard scramble to the house.

The drive went 74 yards on 10 plays, lasting 5:28.

Air Force 7, Louisville 0.

To close the first quarter, the Cardinals went three-and-out and were forced to punt.

Air Force 7, Louisville 0.


Air Force opened the second quarter with a bang, scoring on just the third play of the offense’s third drive of the game. Opting to pass, Daniels caught the Louisville defense off guard and found senior wide receiver Brandon Lewis wide open on a 61-yard passing touchdown.

The drive went 73 yards on three plays, lasting just 57 seconds.

Air Force 14, Louisville 0.

Down two scores, the Cardinals’ offense took the field looking for momentum and turned to their ground game. Redshirt freshman running back Jawhar Jordan ran straight at the Falcons defense, popping defenders in his path on numerous carries. Once inside the red zone, Cooley took it the rest of the way for the Cardinals to cut Air Force’s lead in half.

The drive went 65 yards on 11 plays, lasting 4:58.

Air Force 14, Louisville 7.

The Lousiville score didn’t slow down the Falcons offense, who continued to school the Cardinals through the air. Daniels found a wide-open Lewis for the second time in the game, who then scrambled to the goal line to find paydirt on a 64-yard touchdown and regained Air Force’s 14-point lead.

The drive went 75 yards on six plays, lasting 3:34.

Air Force 21, Louisville 7.

The Cardinals wasted no time in answering back to the Falcons’ touchdown. Jordan found holes in the Air Force special teams unit to ran back the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a quick score.

Air Force 21, Louisville 14.

Air Force returned to the field unshaken by the Louisville touchdown, as the passing game continued to be its biggest asset in the first half. Key passes to sophomore wide receiver Dane Kinamon and a fourth-down pass to Lewis carried the offense as the Falcons slowly chipped away at the Cardinals’ defense.

Once at the one-yard line, Air Force easily pushed its way in for an easy quarterback keeper touchdown by Daniels with 54 seconds left to go in the first half.

The drive went 75 yards on 11 plays, lasting 4:36.

Air Force 28, Louisville 14.

Not wanting to whimper into halftime, the Cardinals launched a deep pass from Cunningham to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Tyler Harrell for 31 yards to get the football to their own 44-yard line. While Louisville did make its way into Air Force territory, they were unable to score before the clock expired.

Air Force 28, Louisville 14.


Daniels and Lewis picked up right where they left off to open up the second half and connected for a 27-yard pass to open the third quarter. However the Air Force drive stalled shortly after and the Falcons were forced to punt.

Cooley and the Louisville running game started strong on their first second-half drive. With the ground game established, Cunningham soon took to the air and drove deep into Air Force territory to the Falcons’ 21 yard line on a 19-yard completion to freshman wide receiver Ahmari Huggins-Bruce.

Once inside the redzone, the Cardinals eventually faced 4th-and-1 at the Falcons’ one yard line and tried punching it into the endzone, but were unsuccessful. The long drive ended with empty results for Louisville and a turnover on downs for Air Force.

Air Force 28, Louisville 14.

Starting from their own one-yard line on the ensuing possession, the Falcons were held to a three-and-out and had to punt away the football with two minutes left in the third quarter.

Cunningham, frustrated from the result of the previous possession, led the Cardinals down the field to score on a 34-yard pass TD to Harrell right before the quarter expired.

The drive went 51 yards on five plays, lasting 1:46.

Air Force 28, Louisville 21.


Daniels’ arm stayed golden against Louisville’s defense as he found Lewis and Kinamon for first-down conversions on two third-down plays. Killing the clock, the Air Force offense turned back to its run game and drained the time remaining for the Cardinals’ offense.

While they were unable to cross the goal line, the Falcons managed to burn nearly ten minutes-worth of game clock and wrapped up the drive with a 26-yard field goal from freshman kicker Matthew Dapore.

The drive went 66 yards on 17 plays, lasting 9:36.

Air Force 31, Louisville 21.

Down by 10 with time running out, the Cardinals moved down the field faster than they had all afternoon, finding the endzone after only six plays on a 22-yard rush to the house by Cunningham with only 2:57 left in the game.

The drive went 70 yards on six plays, lasting 2:27.

Air Force 31, Louisville 28.

Needing the ball back, Louisville attempted an onsides kick after the touchdown, but Lewis snagged the ball out of the air for Air Force 10 yards to regain possession for the Falcons.

IThe Cardinals defense proved unable to stop either junior running back Brad Roberts or Daniels in the game’s final minutes, making the Falcons 2021 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Champions.

FINAL SCORE: Air Force 31, Louisville 28.


Air Force:

Brad Roberts: 20 rushes, 77 yards, 0 TDs

DeAndre Hughes: 7 rushes, 39 yards, 0 TDs

Haaziq Daniels, 15 rushes, 29 yards, 2 TDs

Brandon Lewis: 3 rushes, 18 yards, 0 TDs

Emmanuel Michel: 4 rushes, 6 yards, 0 TDs

Dane Kinamon: 3 rushes, 5 yards, 0 TDs


Trevion Cooley: 18 rushes, 92 yards, 1 TD

Malik Cunningham: 12 rushes, 66 yards, 1 TD

Jawhar Jordan: 6 rushes, 37 yards, 0 TDs

Maurice Burkley: 1 rush, 0 yards, 0 TDs


Air Force:

Haaziq Daniels: 10 attempts, 9 completions, 252 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs


Malik Cunningham: 21 attempts, 13 completions, 207 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs


Air Force:

Trey Taylor: 10 tackles


C.J. Avery: 10 tackles