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Air Force football notes: Palmer Ridge grad Sanders makes debut at QB

September 2, 2017 Updated: September 2, 2017 at 9:14 pm
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photo - US Air Force Academy quarterback Isaiah Sanders readies himself before the team's next play as they took on Virginia Military Institute at Falcon Stadium at the US Air Force Academy on Saturday September 2, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).
US Air Force Academy quarterback Isaiah Sanders readies himself before the team's next play as they took on Virginia Military Institute at Falcon Stadium at the US Air Force Academy on Saturday September 2, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

Sanders becomes first local to play QB at Air Force

It's not an official stat, but a quick glance through the Air Force record book indicates Palmer Ridge graduate Isaiah Sanders may have become the first Colorado Springs-area product to play quarterback for the Falcons when he appeared in the third quarter on Saturday.

"That's awesome. I didn't realize it was like that," said Sanders, who carried twice for 11 yards and directed a scoring drive. "It was a great win for the team, but for me, personally, just to have the milestone of having my first collegiate experience on the actual field and everything - especially to be able to do it in front of the home crowd, for me, in front of my hometown - was pretty awesome."

AIR FORCE ACADEMY FOOTBALL
A parachutist carrying the American Flag makes his way into Falcon Stadium as the US Air Force Academy Falcons took on Virginia Military Institute Keydets on Saturday September 2, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colo., for Parents Weekend. The Falcons won the game 62-0. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

Sanders' father, retired Col. Joseph Sanders (yes, Col. Sanders) was a professor at the academy in the behavioral science department and later worked in the Center for Character and Leadership Development.

Isaiah hadn't seriously considered Air Force until he received a call the week after facing Pine Creek during his senior season. He quickly researched it and it became the only destination he wanted.

He's now the No. 3 quarterback, with some on-field experience behind him.

"When (backup quarterback) Nate (Romine) went in, I was like, 'OK, this is becoming more real,'" Sanders said. "Then I started getting a little more nervous. Once you're on the field you're just playing football like you have for a while. That was pretty cool."

VMI quarterback leaves on stretcher

AIR FORCE ACADEMY FOOTBALL
Virginia Military Institute quarterback Austin Coulling (18), is carted off the field after sustaining an injury against the US Air Force Academy at Falcon Stadium at the US Air Force Academy on Saturday September 2, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Falcons won the game 62-0. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

A scary moment occurred when VMI quarterback Austin Coulling was hit by a pair of Falcons on a second-quarter run.

Coulling stayed on the field and was eventually removed on a stretcher and placed in an ambulance.

Reports after the game indicated Coulling avoided serious injury.

"I hear that he'll be able to fly home with us tonight," VMI coach Scott Wachenheim said. "If he doesn't fly home with us tonight, he'll be able to get a flight home tonight or first thing tomorrow. They're still doing tests."

Family goal attained

AIR FORCE ACADEMY FOOTBALL
The US Air Force Academy cadets perform 56 pushups for the number of points that the team had to that point as the Falcons faced off against the Virginia Military Institute Keydets at Falcon Stadium at the US Air Force Academy on Saturday September 2, 2017 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Falcons won the game 62-0. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette). 

The Air Force quarterbacks have decided among themselves that if they make a pitch on an option, they can count it as half a touchdown. It may not appear in the stats that way, but in their minds, it counts.

As it turns out, Arion Worthman had declared that a goal for this game was to score half of the seven touchdowns that his brother, Adison, piled up in an eighth-grade game last week.

Worthman ran for a score. He threw for two. And he made an option pitch to Ronald Cleveland on another. That gives him 3.5. Half of seven.

Goal attained.

BRENT BRIGGEMAN, THE GAZETTE

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