Kershaw has an electric moment in college debut

—Photo by UNI Athletics FORMER DODGER ALL-STATER Tysen Kershaw (13) reacts with his UNI teammates after scoring his first career touchdown.

CEDAR FALLS — Tysen Kershaw admits he doesn’t really remember anything that happened immediately after his first career touchdown as a college football player.

Luckily for Kershaw, he was able to look back on it through the several video replays sent his way and posted online.

Kershaw, a former two-time first team all-state wide receiver for Fort Dodge Senior High, is a true freshman for the University of Northern Iowa football team.

“After I scored, I honestly blacked out,” said Kershaw, who finished the season opener with two catches for 34 yards and the score for the Panthers. “I just remember getting to the sideline and being mauled by my teammates. It’s a moment that will be with me for the rest of my life.

“The game was so emotional for me, with it being a rivalry game. South Dakota State was the first school I tried to commit to. I was willing to do anything for us to get the win.”

Kershaw’s score put the Panthers ahead, but South Dakota State scored with less than a minute remaining to prevail in the matchup between Top-5 programs. Fifth-ranked UNI rebounded this past weekend with a victory on the road at Youngstown State.

“After our loss, we’re just focused on the next team we have to play,” he said. “We still control our own destiny. We know that we have the talent to beat anyone in the country and we’re only getting better every week.”

Last year at this time, Kershaw was preparing for his final season as a Dodger with the track program. COVID-19 wiped that out, so Kershaw shifted his focus to the Panthers.

“I’m still upset about track season, knowing we had the fastest relays in the state, but it is what it is,” Kershaw said. “I would’ve never imagined that Div. I football would be like this. It’s a whole different game compared to high school.

“The extra time we had to prepare because we’re playing in the spring helped out tremendously to get ready to be on the field, along with the great coaching staff.”

Kershaw added that “it’s a new experience that nobody has gone through” playing in the spring.

“We’ve been practicing since the summer preparing for this, but because we hadn’t played a real game in so long, it took us a little bit to get going,” he said. “With every game that passes, we are improving so much as a team.”


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