Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

December 31, 2012

Karim helps Colts head full speed into playoffs

INDIANAPOLIS — Deji Karim quickly accelerated as the seam suddenly appeared in front of him.

The back-up running back was working as a valet, parking cars at a hotel, before he was re-signed by the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 11.

On Sunday, with the Colts trailing the Houston Texans for the first time all game, Karim resembled one of the dragsters that greets fans as they enter the main gate at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Southern Illinois product ran forward on a straight line, rapidly pulling away from the entire Texans’ coverage team. When he stopped 101 yards later, the only thing missing was a parachute popping from the back of his jersey to slow him down as he entered the end zone.

Karim’s return was the longest in the franchise’s Indianapolis history and tied for fourth in team annals overall. The late third-quarter score also gave the Colts (11-5) a lead they never relinquished in a 28-16 upset of the Texans (12-4).

“All week we had been preaching it,” Karim said. “[Marwan Maalouf], the special teams coordinator, had been telling us we were going to get one and just to prepare for it. We ran the return, and it just split open. I mean, I’ve got to give all the credit to all my blockers on kickoff return. They got the job done.

“They’ve been doing it every week, and I kept telling them over and over again that we were going to get this. They stayed patient with me, opened it up for me and I just took it for six. It’s all a credit to them.”

Karim’s return halted Houston’s short-lived momentum, after the Texans had taken the lead for the only time.

“It’s great to see Deji Karim coming in and house call, 101-yard kickoff return,” QB Andrew Luck said. “That’s so uplifting for a team.”

Karim was one of several late-season additions who made big plays for Indianapolis on Sunday.

With two starters — nose tackle Anthony Johnson and defensive end Cory Redding — missing along the defensive line, the Colts still managed to hold running back Arian Foster to 96 yards — nearly 70 fewer than he’d gained in a win two weeks ago in Houston — and sack quarterback Matt Schaub four times.

Three of those sacks came from players named Clifton Geathers, Lawrence nGuy and Jamaal Westerman who were street free agents — like Karim — earlier this season.

“Threw a sack party,” outside linebacker Robert Mathis said. “I was kind of mad I wasn’t invited to it, but I’m just happy to see the guys have fun and get the win.”

Not all the team’s familiar faces were shut out.

Outside linebacker Dwight Freeney picked up his fifth sack of the season in what might have been the final home game of his storied Indianapolis career. Freeney will be a free agent after the season, and the team has given little indication about his future.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Freeney said. “If that was it, it’s been a great ride in this building. We will worry about that when it’s time to worry about that.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • NWHS tennis 04 Prep Roundup for Saturday, April 19 Northwestern's girls tennis team got a sweep from its doubles tandems and a point from the No. 1 singles player to edge Northfield 3-2 Friday on the Northwestern courts, improving to 2-1 on the season. Emily Harshman won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, Me

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Saturday, April 19 Swain records KCC's first ace of 2014 Noblesville's Larry Swain hit the first hole in one of the new season at the Kokomo Country Club on Thursday. Swain used a nine-iron to ace the 160-yard hole No. 16, recording his first ever hole in one. Josh Mag

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - KT041814 - Prep roundup - pic Prep roundup for Friday, April 18 Tanner Guyer and Sam Seagrave led the way as Kokomo's boys golf team scored a win in its season opener Thursday at Kokomo Country Club.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Friday, April 18 Kokomo High School will host the 2014 Howard County free physicals from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on May 14.

    April 18, 2014

  • SPL - KT041714 Kokomo-Western baseball - pic 2 Kats top Panthers in baseball Since the inception of class sports, the annual early-season baseball matchup between Kokomo and Western had been solely for in-county bragging rights. With Western moving up to Class 4A for the next two seasons because of the IHSAA's new success factor, the rivals met up Wednesday as potential sectional opponents for the first time since 1997.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prep roundup for Thursday, April 17 Eastern junior Caleb Aaron tossed a four-hitter to lead the Comets past Northwestern 3-1 in a Howard County baseball clash Wednesday at Greentown.

    April 17, 2014

  • SPL - KT041714 - B1 briefs - Edwards mug Sports briefs for Thursday, April 17 The North Central Conference on Wednesday announced Indianapolis Arsenal Tech will join the conference on April 1, 2015.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT041614 - Boys golf preview - secondary pic BOYS GOLF: Howard County preview Western's boys golf team is thinking big this season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT041614 Girls tennis Preview - pic GIRLS TENNIS: Howard County preview After 39 seasons and counting as the boys tennis coach at Taylor High School, Dave Wise is entering his 24th season leading the Titan girls.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT041614 - Western hires coaches - mug Western hires football, volley coaches Western High School's search for a new football coach is over. Western on Tuesday named Ron Jankovich its new coach during a board meeting. He spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for Bethel University in Tennessee. He was the Wildcats' co-offensive coordinator.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

NCAA Men's Basketball Poll
Featured Ads
SportsKT twitter
More kokomotribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.