Inglewood- Kavontae Turpin has become the heartwarming, feel good story of the 2022 NFL preseason as the new Dallas Cowboy Wide Receiver made history. He returned both a kickoff as well as a punt return for a touchdown, as the Dallas Cowboys cruised to a 32-18 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on Saturday, August 20.
Turpin, who only signed with the Dallas Cowboys on July 28, most recently earned USFL MVP honors this Spring. Early in the first quarter following a Dustin Hopkins field goal for the Chargers, Turpin used his blockers until turning on the afterburners for a 98-yard touchdown return. As if the 98 yard kickoff weren’t enough, Turpin scored another TD on a 86-yard punt return, eluded a tackle from Danae Leonard than juked him into the history books.
He is the first player in nine seasons to return a kickoff and punt return for touchdowns in the same game. Kavontae Turpin is grateful he has been given an opportunity to play in the NFL.
“I’m just happy for this opportunity the Cowboys gave me after the USFL to come out here and show everybody what I can do, prove to myself I belong in this league,” said Turpin.
Anytime the Dallas Cowboys arrive in your town for a football game it is an event. This was certainly the case as a majority of the fans in attendance were clearly there for, “America’s Team.”
Fierce loyalty combined with their boisterous vocal support at ear piercing decibels made it a long night for the Chargers. Dallas Cowboys backup QB Cooper Rush directed two first-half TD drives. The Cowboys were up 29-10 at halftime.
“It was a really poor first half for us, and that really put us behind overall,” said Chargers head coach Brandon Staley. Staley has every right to be disappointed in the Chargers effort, particularly in the first half. The 2022 Los Angeles Chargers unquestionably have the talent to win the highly competitive AFC West, it is their mental mistakes, special team gaffes and turnovers which have doomed them in the past.
Chargers backup QB Easton Stick hooked up with Joshua Palmer for 18-yard touchdown pass, giving the Bolts an early 10-7 lead. On the bright side Chargers wide receiver Michael Bandy had eight catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.
The Stars unfortunately such as Chargers QB Justin Herbert, as well as wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen were not suited up for the game.
However, the thousands of die hard Cowboys fans who descended on SoFi we’re thrilled at the opportunity of seeing that glorious star, and the pride and camaraderie that goes with being a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan.
The Los Angeles Chargers final dress rehearsal is Friday, August 26 in the Big Easy as they wrap up their preseason against the New Orleans saints. The Chargers regular season kicks off on Sunday, September 11 as the Las Vegas Raiders visit SoFi to add another chapter to one of the greatest rivalries in the NFL. Kickoff is slated for 1:25 p.m.
(PHOTO: Michael C. Floch)