• Kale Steed

Bushland grad Cornelius leads Vipers to first XFL win

Taylor Cornelius threw for 211 yards during a 25-0 win against the D.C. Defenders in an XFL game Sunday night. [Photo cred:]

Taylor Cornelius not only led the Tampa Bay Vipers to their first win in XFL history thanks to a against a 25-0 shutout of the D.C. Defenders Sunday night, but the Bushland graduate also earned his first victory as a professional quarterback.

Making his third straight start for the Vipers (1-3) Sunday night’s effort was by far the 6-foot-6, 232 pound gunslingers best performance since taking over the starting role.

Cornelius commanded a Tampa Bay offense that moved the ball up and down the field on the Defenders throughout most of the game. Cornelius, who started at Oklahoma State during the 2018 season, finished the contest by going an efficient 24-of-31 for a career-high 211 yards, and a passer rating of 92.3 percent. Cornelius added an 8-yard touchdown pass to Deandre Goolsby that gave the Vipers a 7-0 first quarter advantage.

However, Cornelius’ highlight came in the third quarter when he evaded a blitz, took off running for a 13-yard score despite taking a hard hit at the pylon. Those 13 yards were part of 36 rushing yards on the night for Cornelius.

Cornelius and the Vipers will try and make it two in a row at the L.A Wildcats next Sunday.

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