Rockets Complete Outstanding Football Season

By Karlie Perry '19, '19

“This team, we’ve been through a lot this whole year,” began sophomore quarterback Dequan Finn, a Detroit native who won a high school state championship at Ford Field in 2018. “It’s been a rollercoaster for us, with ups and downs. We’ve fought through adversity and rough patches. Ultimately throughout the whole course, we stayed together as one. Even on the bad days. The whole emphasis was stay together as one, because when we splinter off, we are not the same. When we play as one, no one can stop us.”

Success Off the Field

For the first time in school history, the Rockets earned the American Football Coaches Association’s 2022 Academic Achievement Award (AFCA). This award was presented based on UToledo’s 100 percent graduation rate for the 2015 freshman football student-athlete class.

Success On the Field

The football team’s accomplishments did not stop there. Finn, along with the rest of The University of Toledo Rockets football team, finished the season with a 9-5 record, its most wins since 2017. The Rockets also went on to win the Mid-American Conference Championship and the Boca Raton Bowl.

“I’m really proud of our football team,” said head coach Jason Candle, who is now tied with former Rocket head coaches Frank Lauterbur and Tom Amstutz with two outright MAC titles. “It takes a strong and mentally tough group of young men to get to this point. This team is resilient and has a lot of resolve. They understand the importance of responding to adversity rather than reacting to it. I’ve challenged them since day one to be who they said they were going to be, and they wanted to be MAC Champions. I was excited to watch those guys hoist the trophy.”

The win at the Boca Raton Bowl marked the first bowl victory for Toledo since 2015. This season marked the second time in Toledo history and the first time since 2001 that the Rockets won both the MAC Championship Game and a bowl game in the same season.

Photo: Rockets football team holding the Boca Raton Bowl Trophy after the game in Boca Raton, FL.