Brendan Leiran runs wild in big Kohawk victory
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Senior Brendan Leiran (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon) rushed for a career-high 164 yards and scored five touchdowns, as Coe rolled Loras 69-7 at Clark Field. Coe moved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in league play.
The Kohawk defense came out firing. Coe entered the game giving up just 7.75 points per game, the second fewest in the country. The Duhawks went three-and-out on the opening drive, as Coe took over at the Loras 43 to start. Outside of a 13-yard pass from senior Jared McNutt (Warren, Ill./Warren) to senior Jared Kuehner (Center Point, Iowa/Center Point-Urbana), Leiran carried the load on the opening drive. On four carries, Leiran rushed for 30 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown with 11:42 left in the first quarter. A botched point-after attempt led to a two-point conversion for juniorJordan Atwater (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Linn-Mar), the first points of Atwater's career.
Following an exchange of punts, Coe started its third drive of the game at its own 32-yard line. On third-and-eight, McNutt found junior Keaton Juergens (Elkader, Iowa/Central Elkader) for a 12-yard gain. Two plays later, Leiran went off the right side for 54-yards, as Coe took a 15-0 lead with 5:29 left in the first quarter.
Another Duhawk three-and-out gave Coe the ball at its own 42-yard line. McNutt completed a 50-yard pass to Juergens, the longest reception of Juergens career, on first down. The next play, Leiran was in from eight-yards out. The PAT was blocked, giving Coe a 21-0 lead with 3:50 left in the first quarter.
Loras put together its second longest drive of the first half following the score, as they went 17-yards on six plays, but juniorMitch Montgomery (Lisbon, Iowa/Lisbon) came away with his first career interception at the Kohawk 47-yard line. Leiran rushed for five yards on first down before McNutt found senior Chase Cooling (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier) for a 23-yard gain before McNutt completed an 11-yard pass to Kuehner. Leiran took the next two carries eight and six yards for his fourth touchdown of the first quarter, putting Coe ahead 28-0 with :31 left in the opening frame. Leiran ended the first quarter with 115 yards on 12 carries.
After a failed fourth-down attempt for the Duhawks, Coe took over at its own 39-yard line. Leiran rushed for back-to-back nine-yard gains before McNutt found Kuehner for a 43-yard touchdown off a screen pass. Just three plays later, juniorLogan Keehner (Guttenberg, Iowa/Clayton Ridge) picked off Dylan Jones for his first career interception. Keehner returned the interception 19 yards to the Loras 18-yard line. After an incomplete pass, junior Gage Mohs (Fredericksburg, Iowa/Sumner-Fredericksburg) rushed for nine yards before Leiran scored for the fifth and final time from nine-yards out with 9:34 left in the first half.
The Duhawks next drive would end in turnover as well, as junior Dylan Youel (Traer, Iowa/North Tama) recovered his first career fumble at the Duhawk 21-yard line. On the next play, McNutt found Kuehner for a 21-yard touchdown pass, as Coe went ahead 49-0 with 8:30 to play in the first half.
With :41 to play in the first half, the Kohawk defense stuffed a punt attempt by the Duhawks, tackling the punter at the two-yard line. Two plays later, freshman Mark Atwater (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Linn-Mar) found senior Jacob Workman(Chadwick, Ill./Milledgeville) for a two-yard touchdown pass, giving Coe a 56-0 lead at the half.
On the Duhawks first possession of the second half, Nate Carrier went 65-yards off the right side for a touchdown, making it 56-7 in favor of the Kohawks with 12:12 to play in the third quarter.
Coe increased its lead to 59-7 with 5:30 to play in the third quarter as junior Wes Anderson (Newhall, Iowa/Benton Community) connected on a 26-yard field goal. The Kohawks got the ball back on an interception by junior Shane Moses(East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria), his second in two weeks. Coe wasn't able to capitalize on the interception, but a fumble on the punt return, recovered by senior Matt Barnd (Marion, Iowa/Marion) gave the Kohawks the ball back at the Loras 24-yard line. Anderson would kick a 20-yard field goal with 12:55 to play in the game, as Coe went ahead 62-7.
The Duhawks went three-and-out once again, this time leading to the final points of the game. Coe went 51-yards on seven plays following the defensive stop, capped by junior Carvin Thompson's (Dallas, Texas/Life Charter) four-yard touchdown run with 7:06 to play.
Coe gained 22 first downs, while holding the Duhawks to seven. Coe rushed for 298 yards, compared to 121 for the Duhawks. The Kohawks threw for 190 yards, while Loras had just 70 yards through the air. Coe led in total yardage 488 to 191, while running just six more plays than Loras. The Duhawks were 2-of-16 on third downs, while Coe was 5-of-13. Loras never entered the red zone, while Coe was 8-for-8 on scoring inside the red zone with six touchdowns.
Leiran finished with a game-high 164 yards rushing and five touchdowns. Mohs added 58 yards on 11 carries, while Thompson had 42 yards on 13 carries, including his second career touchdown. McNutt was 8-for-11 for 179 yards. Kuehner caught five passes for 94 yards, while Juergens caught two for 62 yards.
Senior Bryce Sampson (Roland, Iowa/Roland-Story) led the defense with six tackles. Junior Justin Snorton (Valley Park, Mo./Desmet Jesuit) had a career-high five tackles, while sophomore Mitchell Berendes (Dubuque, Iowa/Hempstead) also had five.
Anderson finished with a career-high 13 points kicking. Cooling had five punts for 194 yards, as he moved into second on Coe's career list with 123 punts and 4,408 punting yards.
Leiran scored 30 points on the day, becoming the sixth player at all NCAA divisions to score 30 or more points in a game this season. He is just the third NCAA Division III player to do so. Leiran also moved to fourth on Coe's career carries list with 479, fourth on the career rushing yards list with 2,607 and eighth on the touchdowns list with 27 rushing touchdowns. His five touchdowns in the win is tied for the second most in school history, second to Carey Bender's NCAA Division III record of eight. Kuehner moved into fourth on the career receptions list with 119 and fourth in the career touchdowns list with 19.
Coe's 69 points were the 11th most in school history, while the 62 point margin of victory was the 10th highest in school history.
The Kohawks (5-0, 2-0 IIAC) return to action next Saturday, as they travel to defending Iowa Conference Champion Dubuque. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Dubuque.