Kohawks roll Monmouth 33-3 in season opener

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Coe College football team opened the 2012 season with an impressive performance in all areas, as they beat Monmouth 33-3 in front of 2,283 fans at Clark Field. It was the season opener for both teams.

Entering the game, there was a question mark at the quarterback position for both teams. The Kohawks were replacing two-time Iowa Conference MVP Brad Boyle, while Monmouth was replacing Alex Tanney, who is currently on the roster with the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL.  The Kohawks looked set in their new quarterback, as senior Jared McNutt (Warren, Ill./Warren) made the start. It was the first start since his freshman season, when he started against St. Thomas in the second round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs.

Monmouth was forced to punt on its first two possessions, while Coe saw its first possession end on an incomplete pass from the Monmouth 14-yard line.  The second drive was different for the Kohawks, as they went 39-yards on eight plays for the first points of the game.  Facing third and five, McNutt found junior Carvin Thompson (Dallas, Iowa/Life Charter) for an eight-yard game.  Three of the next four plays were rushes by junior Gage Mohs (Fredericksburg, Iowa/Sumner-Fredericksburg), including a five-yard touchdown run with 3:02 left in the first quarter. The point-after attempt by juniorWes Anderson (Newhall, Iowa/Benton Community) missed, as Coe held a 6-0 lead.

The Fighting Scots punted on the opening drive of the second quarter, but three plays later McNutt was intercepted by M. Lafferty at the Coe 40-yard line.  Monmouth was able to capitalize on the turnover for its only points of the game.  The Fighting Scots went 28-yards on six plays, as Matt Batton hit a 29-yard field goal with 11:01 left in the first half, cutting Coe's lead to 6-3.

Coe made quick work of its next drive, as they went 56-yards in seven plays in 3:37.  Facing third and three, McNutt found Mohs for a 42-yard gain to the Monmouth 10-yard line.  The Kohawks drove to the three-yard line, where juniorKeaton Juergens (Elkader, Iowa/Central Elkader) hit a 20-yard field goal, as Coe took a 9-3 lead with 7:19 left in the first half.

Monmouth marched 51-yards to the Coe 11-yard line, but a fumble on fourth down gave the Kohawks the ball back with 3:26 left in the half.  Coe lined up for a 45-yard field goal attempt from Juergens with :17 left in the half, but Monmouth called back-to-back time outs.  The Kohawks then elected to go for it instead of kick, as McNutt found senior Kris Hopkins(Keokuk, Iowa/Keokuk) for a gain of 16-yards.  On the next play, McNutt found senior Jared McNutt (Center Point, Iowa/Center Point-Urbana) for a 12-yard touchdown pass.  The score gave Coe a 16-3 lead with :04 left in the half and into halftime.

Coe's first drive of the second half ended on an incomplete pass on fourth down, but they got the ball back after three-straight plays for negative yards for Monmouth.  Following the punt, Coe went 57-yards on eight plays for a touchdown.  Facing fourth-and-two, Mohs went untouched off the left side for a 19-yard touchdown.  The score gave Coe a 23-3 lead with 5:52 left in the third quarter.

After stopping Monmouth on fourth down late in the third quarter, the Kohawks took over for a 70-yard drive that lasted the final few minutes of the third quarter and into the fourth. Juergens connected on his second field goal of the game with 13:26 to play.  His 22-yard kick gave Coe a 26-3 lead.

Monmouth used a 63-yard drive following the field goal, but were stopped on fourth down at the Kohawk 10-yard line.  The stop set up a 90-yard drive for the Kohawks, highlighted by a 60-yard run up the middle on first down from Mohs.  After back-to-back draws up the middle by freshman Quarterback Mark Atwater (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Linn-Mar), McNutt found senior Matt Barnd (Marion, Iowa/Marion) for a gain of 12 yards and a first down.  Mohs then got the ball on back-to-back carries, scoring on a seven-yard run.  Mohs' touchdown gave Coe a 33-3 lead with 6:53 to play.

The Kohawks finished the game with 545 yards of total offense, while holding the Fighting Scots to 249.  Coe gained 271 on the ground, while holding Monmouth to 40.  The Fighting Scots had negative rushing yards in the first half. Both teams were over 200 yards passing, as Coe threw for 274 and Monmouth for 209.  Coe held a 37:18-22:42 advantage in time of possession, including an 11:14 to 3:46 third quarter advantage.  The Kohawks were 6-of-8 in the red zone, while Monmouth was 1-of-4.

Mohs led the rushing attack with 173 yards on 25 carries and three scores. Atwater added 55 yards on seven carries, while Thompson had 33 yards on 11 carries.  McNutt finished 20-for-31 passing for 275 yards.  He threw one touchdown and was sacked just once.

Kuehner led the receiving corps with six catches for 67 yards, including a touchdown.  Senior Jacob Workman (Chadwick, Ill./Milledgeville) grabbed five receptions for 46 yards.  Mohs caught three passes for 65 yards, while Hopkins had two receptions for 25 yards.

Senior Zach West (Tiffin, Iowa/Clear Creek-Amana) led the Kohawk defense with 10 tackles, including two for a loss. Returning All-American Frank Weymiller (New Albin, Iowa/Waukon) finished with six tackles, including one for a loss. Sophomore Gaetano Tarantino (Vallejo, Calif./St. Patrick-St. Vincent) added six tackles, including two for a loss and a sack.  Junior Kris Schult (Tripoli, Iowa/Tripoli), junior Mitch Montgomery (Lisbon, Iowa/Lisbon) and sophomore Dustin Elsbury(Byron, Ill./Byron) all had five tackles.  Montgomery had one sack and 2.5 tackles for loss.  Weymiller and Tarantino both added two quarterback hurries.

The Kohawks return to action next Saturday, as they travel to longtime rival Cornell. Kickoff for the oldest football rivalry west of the Mississippi River is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Mount Vernon.