DUBUQUE, Iowa - The 19th-ranked Coe College football team put it together in all areas Saturday, as they defeated Loras 56-0, spoiling the homecoming of an Iowa Conference opponent for the second-straight week.
Coe wasted no time scoring this week, as they put together a 2:55 drive to start the game. Coe faced just one third down on the opening drive, as sophomore Josh Rekers (Dike, Iowa/Dike-New Hartford) found junior Nick Lenstra(Peosta, Iowa/Western Dubuque) for a four-yard gain. Three plays later, Rekers and Lenstra hooked up again, this time from 44-yards out, as Coe took an 8-0 lead with 12:05 to play in the first quarter. The two-point conversion came as senior Jordan Atwater(Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Linn-Mar) took a high snap in for a run, his second career rushing two-point conversion.
Loras moved the ball to the Coe 45-yard line, but was eventually forced to punt on its opening drive. It would be the only drive in the game that the Duhawk offense would move the ball into Kohawk territory. Loras would have two drives later in the game start in Coe territory, but only gained seven yards on those two drives combined.
On Coe's second drive, the Kohawks faced two third downs, converting both of them. The drive was sparked by a 40-yard pass from Rekers to senior Chase Cooling (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier), moving the ball to the Duhawk five-yard line. Three plays later, Rekers found senior Keaton Juergens (Elkader, Iowa/Central) for an eight-yard strike, the first touchdown reception of the year for Juergens. A Wes Anderson (Newhall, Iowa/Benton Community) point after attempt put Coe ahead 15-0 with 2:21 to play in the first quarter.
Senior Carvin Thompson (Dallas, Texas/Life Charter) took the first two carries for the second quarter for gains of 33 yards and 11 yards, the second of which was the first rushing touchdown of the year for Thompson. An Anderson PAT gave Coe a 22-0 lead with 14:30 to play in the half.
Another three-play drive for the Duhawks gave Coe the ball at its own 45-yard line to start the drive. The Kohawks again faced just one third down on the drive, as Thompson rushed in from three-yards out with 8:44 to play in the half. An Anderson PAT gave Coe a 29-0 lead.
Both teams exchanged punts before the Kohawks took over again at their own 43-yard line, thanks in part to a 20-yard punt return by Juergens. Coe needed just six plays to score, as Rekers found sophomore Elijah Phillips (Miami, Fla./Southridge) for an eight-yard touchdown pass, the second in two weeks for Phillips. An Anderson PAT put Coe ahead 36-0 with 2:32 to play in the half.
Loras opened the second half with the ball, but gained just six yards on three plays. A 25-yard punt return by Juergens allowed Coe to start its first drive of the second half at its own 46-yard line. After back-to-back rushes for gains of 16 and 13 for Thompson, he busted loose for a 25-yard touchdown run, giving Coe a 42-0 lead with 12:50 to play in the third quarter.
The Duhawks gained two yards on the next drive, as Coe started in Duhawk territory after a 14-yard punt return from juniorDavin Roach (Guffey, Colo./Cripple Creek Victor). Coe put together another quick drive, needing only six plays to score. Sophomore Mark Atwater (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Linn-Mar) found Thompson for a 20-yard touchdown pass. An Anderson PAT gave Coe a 49-0 lead with 8:05 to play in the third quarter.
Coe's final points of the game came with :25 to play, as senior Travis Cullen (West Point, Iowa/Holy Trinity Catholic) returned an interception 46-yards for a touchdown. Anderson hit his final kick of the game, giving Coe a 56-0 victory.
The Kohawks had 203 yards rushing and 261 passing, for a total of 464 on 71 plays. Coe's defense held the Duhawks to 107 yards rushing and 24 yards passing, a total of 131 yards on 56 plays. Earlier this year, Coe held Washington University-St. Louis to 124 yards. Coe is one of six teams in NCAA Division III to hold two different opponents to less than 131 yards of offense in a game. The 24 yards passing by the Duhawks were the second fewest in an NCAA Division III game this year and the sixth fewest in the four NCAA divisions.
On top of Thompson's career-high three rushing touchdowns, he also ran for a career-high 128 yards on 12 carries. M. Atwater rushed a career-high eight times for 49 yards. 11 different Kohawks carried the ball a combined 46 times. Rekers finished 17-of-20 passing for 217 yards and three touchdowns, a career high. Atwater completed three of four passes for 36 yards.
Juergens finished with four receptions for 51 yards, while senior Blake Miller (Ottumwa, Iowa/Ottumwa) caught a career-high three passes for 19 yards. Cooling caught two passes for 52 yards, while Lenstra caught two for 48. 11 different Kohawks caught a pass in the victory.
J. Atwater led the defense with seven tackles, while seniors Dylan Youel (Traer, Iowa/North Tama) and Mitch Montgomery(Lisbon, Iowa/Lisbon) added six tackles apiece, including two tackles for loss and a sack for each. All three hit the 100 tackle mark for their careers in the game. Junior Matt Schmitz (Jesup, Iowa/Union) and junior Evan Bolt (Janesville, Iowa/Janesville) each recorded five tackles. Schmitz added two and a half tackles for loss and a sack.
With the second shutout of the season, it is the first time since 2003 that Coe has recorded two shutouts in a season. The win was the 10th-straight road win for the Kohawks, the second longest in NCAA Division III and eighth longest streak in all four NCAA divisions.
The 19th-ranked Kohawks (5-0, 2-0 IIAC) return to action next Saturday, as they host the University of Dubuque (3-2, 2-0 IIAC). The homecoming kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Clark Field. A link for live video, stats and audio can be found on the front page of CoeAthletics.com.