Coe blanks Central in second half to win battle of ranked teams
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa—There were 65 combined points, 999 yards and three costly Central College turnovers, but the analysis of the No. 7-ranked Dutch squad's 37-28 loss at No. 9 Coe College Saturday is quite simple, according to coach Jeff McMartin.
"They stopped us and we didn't stop them," he said.
Central saw a 28-20 halftime lead wash away in the second-half drizzle as Coe (4-0 overall, 2-0 Iowa Conference) scored 17 unanswered points to secure the victory and an early advantage in the conference race. Central, which saw its 13-game regular-season winning streak ended and suffered its first loss to Coe since 2005, is 3-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Coe prevailed despite a career-high 157 yards rushing by Dutch sophomore running back Ross Doehrmann and another big day from quarterback Nate Snead, who rushed for three touchdowns and passed for another. He ran for 99 yards on 16 carries while completing 10 of 19 passes for 202 yards.
But Snead was picked off twice late in the second half and Central missed a pivotal scoring opportunity on the first play of the fourth quarter. Coe took its first lead, 30-28, on a 19-yard Brad Boyle scoring pass late in the third quarter. Central countered with a 34-yard kickoff return by Mike Furlong and two plays later, Snead hit Furlong with a 42-yard pass. But as Furlong raced for a score, the ball was knocked loose by a trailing defender near the goal line and bounced out of the end zone for a touchback.
But rather than point to one play or aspect of the game, McMartin was quick to praise the opposition.
"First of all, credit Coe," he said. "They played a great game and deserve the win."
The Kohawks rolled up 533 yards total offense, just four shy of the most ever surrendered by a Central defense. Wartburg set the record with 537 yards in a 2003 game.
Boyle was predictably effective, completing 18 of 31 passes for 243 yards and two TDs. But Coe inflicted even more damage on the ground with 290 yards on 47 carries. Brendan Leiran rushed for 138 yards on 19 attempts while Boyle gained 82 yards on 19 carries with three touchdowns.
"Coe executed very well," McMartin said. "There was not a lot different than what we anticipated. We knew we had to stop their running game. As much publicity as they get for their passing game, we knew we had to stop their running game and we weren't able to do that."
Central, which controlled the ball for 17:02 of the first half, had possession for just 10:18 of 30 second-half minutes. The Dutch gained 466 yards and averaged 7.6 yards per play but Coe held a 29-19 first down advantage.
"It was a tale of two halves," McMartin said.
After punting on the game's opening drive, Central found the end zone on four of the next six possessions in the first half. But in the second half, the Dutch punted twice, fumbled, missed a 35-yard field goal, then suffered two late interceptions as they tried to rally.
Linebackers Greg Best and Keith Rush had nine and eight tackles, respectively. Defensive backs Ryan Schmidt and Jake Petersen each had seven stops.
Central is back on the road next Saturday, traveling to Mount Vernon to meet Cornell College.