Former Cobbers wide receiver Zylstra scores first NFL touchdown with diving effort | INFORUM

Former Cobbers wide receiver Zylstra scores first NFL touchdown with diving effort | INFORUM

Former Concordia Cobbers wide receiver Brandon Zylstra scored his first NFL touchdown Sunday, Dec. 27, helping the Carolina Panther earn a victory against the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field.

Zylstra’s score came on special teams during the first quarter of Carolina’s 20-13 win. Washington’s punt returner Steven Sims was hit as he fielded a punt and the football caromed into the end zone. Zylstra raced toward the loose ball and dove on it in the end zone, giving the Panthers a 6-0 lead with 1 minute, 42 seconds to play in the first quarter.

Zylstra’s play helped spark the Panthers to a 20-0 that led the Panthers to the victory. He is in his third season in the NFL and second with the Panthers. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Zylstra played three seasons for the Cobbers from 2013-2015.

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“I thought our special teams really helped us,” Carolina head coach Matt Rhule said in his postgame press conference.

“That was a team that was playing for each other, that was playing together. … When we made that first touchdown, that punt, our whole defense and offense ran out to celebrate with those guys.”

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Zylstra, from Spicer, Minn., had 120 catches for 1,932 yards and 18 touchdowns during his Concordia career. He averaged 16.1 yards per catch for the Cobbers, playing in 29 games.

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