Defense dominates as #20 Coe moves to 3-0

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Coe College offense ran the second most plays in school history, but it was the defense that stole the show with a shutout Saturday, as 20th-ranked Coe downed Washington University (St. Louis) 10-0.

Neither team could get anything going in the first quarter, as they combined for a a fourth down sack, a punt, an interception and a missed field goal. Coe drove inside the Washington Univ. red zone on the first drive of the second quarter, but a mishandled snap on third down led a fumble recovery by the Bears. Washington Univ. moved to the Kohawk 41 yard line, but was forced to punt. The Bears ended drives at the Coe 49, 18 and 41 yard lines on their first three drives, but could never move the ball past their own 42 yard line on their next 10 possessions of the game.

Despite starting at their own five yard line, the Kohawks marched down the field for the game's only touchdown. Facing second-and-10 from their own 38 yard line, sophomore Josh Rekers (Dike, Iowa/Dike-New Hartford) found seniorGage Mohs (Fredericksburg, Iowa/Sumner-Fredericksburg) for a 45-yard gain on a screen pass with the defense blitzing. Coe faced just one third down on the drive, sitting at third-and-eight from the 15-yard line. Mohs went up the middle for 12 yards before taking it in from three-yards out on the next play to give Coe a 6-0 lead. Senior Wes Anderson (Newhall, Iowa/Benton Community) came on for the extra point, giving Coe a 7-0 lead with 5:52 to play in the first half. Anderson became the fifth kicker in school history with 100 point after attempt conversions.

After another Bear punt, the Kohawks went 56 yards to the Bear 10 yard line, but Rekers was intercepted for the first time in his career at the two yard line with 1:15 to play in the half. Coe went into the locker room with a 7-0 halftime lead.

The final points of the game came on Coe's opening drive of the second half. The Kohawks went 54 yards on 12 plays, as Anderson converted a 29-yard field goal with 8:07 to play in the third quarter. Midway through the fourth quarter, seniorKris Schult (Tripoli, Iowa/Tripoli) recorded his first career interception, but the Kohawks turned the ball over on downs at the Bear 27 yard line. Coe forced one more turnover, this one sealing the fate of the Bears, as senior Diego Rodriquez(Miami, Fla./Archbishop Carroll) intercepted J.J. Tomlin with :03 left to play.

Coe dominated the statistics from top to bottom despite scoring just 10 points. Coe held a 22-6 advantage in first downs. The Kohawks had a 125-63 advantage on the ground and a 299-61 advantage in the air. Coe totaled 424 yards of 94 plays, tied for the second most in school history. Coe ran 95 plays against Monmouth on Oct. 30, 1983 and 94 against Upper Iowa on Sept. 21, 2002. The 124 yards by the Bears were the fewest a Kohawk defense had allowed since giving up 113 yards to Aurora on Sept. 9, 2006.

The Kohawks had the ball for 42:17, while the Bears had it for 17:43. Of the 13 Washington University drives, only three of them were longer than 2:15. Coe had just three drives under 2:52. The Bears were 3-of-13 on third downs, while Coe was 9-of-22. Coe failed to convert on its first two fourth down tries, but converted three of its next four. The Bears failed in their own fourth down attempt.

Mohs had a career-high 30 carries for 93 yards, including his 10th career rushing touchdown. Rekers completed 23-of-39 passes for 270 yards, a career-high in both completions and attempts. 

For the second-straight week, senior Keaton Juergens (Elkader, Iowa/Central Elkader) had a career-high nine receptions. This week he tied his career high in yards with 113, as he became the 21st player in school history with over 1,000 receiving yards. He now has 1,104. Sophomore Elijah Phillips (Miami, Fla./Southridge), Mohs and junior Nicholas Lenstra (Peosta, Iowa/Western Dubuque) all had career-highs in receptions as well. Phillips had five receptions for 40 yards, while Mohs had three for 58. Lenstra had three for 53 yards, a career high.

Senior Jordan Atwater (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Linn-Mar) had a career-high 10 tackles to lead the defense. Schult, junior Gaetano Tarantino (Vallejo, Calif./St. Patrick-St. Vincent), Rodriquez and senior Mitch Montgomery (Lisbon, Iowa/Lisbon) each had five tackles. Montgomery added two tackles for a loss, a sack and four quarterback hurries. 

The Kohawks will have next week off before opening Iowa Conference play on Oct. 5. Coe will hit the road for the first two league contest, starting with a trip to Storm Lake to face Buena Vista. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. A link for live video, stats and audio can be found on CoeAthletics.com.

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