CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Coe College football team improved to 4-0 Saturday, as they beat Buena Vista 51-0 in theIowa Conference opener for both schools. The win was the second-straight on Homecoming for the Kohawks.
The Kohawks rolled in the first half, as they racked up 44 points in the opening 30 minutes of the game. Coe was also perfect passing the ball in the first half, as senior Jared McNutt (Warren, Ill./Warren) completed all 17 passes he attempted for 260 yards. Freshman Mark Atwater (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Linn-Mar) completed his only three passing attempts in the second half, as the pair of quarterbacks tied an NCAA Division III record for most consecutive passes completed by two players. The only other time a pair has thrown 20-straight completions was Kevin Keefe and David Skarupa of Baldwin-Wallace on Sept. 10, 1994.
Coe was forced to punt on its first possession, but a forced fumble by senior Frank Weymiller (New Albin, Iowa/Waukon) on Buena Vista's opening drive gave Coe the ball at the Beaver 35-yard line. On the seventh play of the drive, McNutt found senior Jared Kuehner (Center Point, Iowa/Center Point-Urbana) for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Buena Vista had it's biggest drive of the game on the ensuing drive, as they went 70-yards on seven plays, but juniorAntoine Allen-Jackson (Aurora, Ill./Oswego East) blocked Bryce Bintner's 23-yard field goal attempt. On the first play of Coe's drive, McNutt found Kuehner for a 42-yard gain. Junior Gage Mohs (Fredericksburg, Iowa/Sumner-Fredericksburg) rushed 24-yards to the Beaver 14-yard line before senior Brendan Leiran (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon) scored from two-yards out three plays later.
Coe forced a Buena Vista punt on the first play of the second quarter and quickly scored again. On second-and-nine, McNutt found Kuehner for a gain of 55-yards. Two plays later, Mohs scored from a yard out, as Coe went up 20-0.
A quick three-and-out for the Beavers gave the Kohawks the ball back less than two minutes later. On third-and-three, McNutt found junior Keaton Juergens (Elkader, Iowa/Central Elkader) for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
The Kohawks again forced a three-and-out, with the Beavers only holding possession for :55. Senior Jacob Workman(Chadwick, Ill./Milledgeville) rushed for 26-yards on first down. Two plays later, McNutt found Juergens for a gain of 47-yards. On the next play, Leiran plunged in from a yard out, as Coe led 34-0 with 6:55 left in the first half.
On Buena Vista's second play of the next drive, Weymiller forced his second fumble of the game, as Allen-Jackson recovered at the Beaver 27-yard line. The forced fumble was the 12th of Weymiller's career, the most of any player currently playing college football at any NCAA division.
Coe needed just four plays to score, as McNutt found senior Kris Hopkins (Keokuk, Iowa/Keokuk) for a six-yard touchdown. The score put Coe up 41-0 with 5:14 left in the opening half. Buena Vista would put together another big drive, but quarterback Bobby Brown was stopped for a gain of five on fourth-and-11 with 2:19 to play.
The Kohawks put together a 72-yard drive on eight plays, capped by junior Wes Anderson's (Newhall, Iowa/Benton Community) 20-yard field goal as time expired in the half.
Buena Vista turned the ball over on the opening possession of the second half, as senior Bryce Sampson (Roland, Iowa/Roland-Story) intercepted Brown at the Coe 30-yard line. Coe put together it's final scoring drive on six plays, capped by Atwater's career-long 32-yard run up the middle for a touchdown with 9:56 to play in the third quarter.
The Kohawks finished with 24 first downs, while holding the Beavers to 14. Coe ran for 251 yards, while the Beavers had 128. The Kohawks won the battle through the air, outgaining the Beavers 282-114. Coe held a 533-242 advantage in total offense.
Mohs finished with eight carries for 71 yards, while junior Carvin Thompson (Dallas, Texas/Life Charter) added 54 yards on 10 carries. Leiran rushed 10 times for 45 yards. Leiran became the 12th player in school history to rush for 22 touchdowns or more in his career.
McNutt finished the day 17-for-17 for 260 yards. He threw a career-high three touchdown passes, while his 55-yard pass was the longest of his career. Atwater was 3-for-3 for 22 yards. Kuehner led the receivers with five receptions for 113 yards. Juergens added a career-high 82 yards on four receptions, including his third career touchdown reception. Kuehner became the third player in school history to pass 2,000 receiving yards and also moved to fifth with 114 receptions.
Weymiller led the defense with eight tackles. He forced two fumbles for the third time in his career. SophomoreMitchell Berendes (Dubuque, Iowa/Hempstead) had a career-high six tackles, while senior Alex Herink (Clutier, Iowa/North Tama) also had a career-high with five tackles. Junior Dylan Youel (Traer, Iowa/North Tama) had five tackles as well. The Kohawk defense recorded five or more sacks against Buena Vista for the sixth time since 2002.
The Kohawks return to action next Saturday, as they host Loras. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Clark Field. A link for live stats and live video can be found on the front of CoeAthletics.com.