MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - It was the closest Coe-Cornell game since 2007, but the Coe College football game continued the longest winning streak in the rivalry with a 34-14 win over the Rams Saturday.
Neither team could get much going on their first two drives, as all four drives resulted in punts. On Coe's third drive of the game, the offense started clicking.On first down at the Cornell 35, senior Jared McNutt (Warren, Ill./Warren) found juniorCarvin Thompson (Dallas, Texas/Life Charter) for a gain of 16 yards. On the next play, Thompson rushed for 15 yards. Two plays later, junior Gage Mohs (Fredericksburg, Iowa/Sumner-Fredericksburg) scored from five-yards out, his fourth touchdown of the season, to give Coe a 7-0 lead with 3:36 left in the opening quarter.
On Cornell's third play of the next possession, senior Nate Neuhaus (Manchester, Iowa/West Delaware) tipped a pass from Ram quarterback Juan Flores and made a diving catch for the interception. The Kohawks were able to score six-plays later as McNutt found senior Jacob Workman (Chadwick, Ill./Milledgeville) for a 17-yard touchdown, giving Coe a 14-0 lead with :30 left in the first quarter.
Cornell used three pass plays over 20 yards on the ensuing drive, capped by a 20-yard pass from Flores to Justin Cox, to cut Coe's lead to 14-7 with 12:02 left in the first half. The Kohawks ate up nearly four minutes of the lock on the next drive, but it ended on fourth down at the Cornell 12-yard line. On the next play, senior Frank Weymiller (New Albin, Iowa/Waukon) stripped Cornell running back D.J. Hall, as senior Alex Herink (Clutier, Iowa/North Tama) recovered the fumble. Coe would get inside the two-yard line, but again come up short on fourth down.
The Rams would drive 65-yards from their own two-yard line, but were forced to punt with just over a minute to go in the first half. Thompson rushed the ball for gains of eight and 11 before McNutt found senior Jared Kuehner (Center Point, Iowa/Center Point-Urbana) for a gain of 28 yards, moving into Cornell territory. After a timeout and incomplete pass, McNutt found Thompson for 15-yards before scrambling for 12 yards on the next play. During McNutt's run, he was hit late out of bounds, moving the ball to the five-yard line. Following a pair of timeouts, McNutt found Workman for a five-yard touchdown pass. The score gave Coe a 21-7 lead with :02 left in the half.
Coe's second drive of the second half resulted in another Kohawk touchdown, as they went 53 yards on seven plays. Coe was faced with just one third down on the drive, with that being the scoring play to end the drive when Mohs scored from three-yards out. The touchdown, Mohs' fifth of the season, gave Coe a 28-7 lead with 7:26 left in the third quarter.
Cornell was forced to punt on its next possession, as they gained just one yard in three plays. On the first play of the drive for the Kohawks, McNutt found Kuehner for a gain of 43-yards. A three-yard rush by Thompson moved the ball to the eight-yard line, where freshman Mark Atwater (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Linn-Mar) rushed up the middle for a touchdown. Atwater's score, the first of his career, gave Coe a 34-7 lead with 5:32 left in the third quarter, as the PAT was missed.
On Cornell's ensuing drive, they marched 69-yards on 10 plays to the Coe four-yard line before sophomore Dustin Elsbury(Byron, Ill./Byron) stripped Hall, with junior Mitch Montgomery (Lisbon, Iowa/Lisbon) recovering the fumble. Coe wasn't able to score off the turnover, but took more time off the clock.
The Rams' final scoring drive started with 9:47 to play, as they went 91-yards on nine plays in just 2:34. A 10-yard pass from Flores to Cox were the final points of the game. Cornell forced a late Coe punt, taking over at its own 11-yard line with 1:14 to go, trailing 34-14. The Rams went 64 yards on 12 plays, but a 42-yard field goal attempt by Anthony Bridges as time expired sailed wide left.
Mohs led the Kohawk rushing attack with 83 yards on 20 carries. He also scored two touchdowns on the ground. Thompson added 64 yards on 14 carries while Atwater had 35 yards on five carries, including a touchdown.
McNutt was 15-of-26 passing for 198 yards with two touchdowns. Kuehner finished with a team-high five receptions for 97 yards. Workman added four receptions for 35 yards and two touchdowns.
Junior Antoine Allen-Jackson (Aurora, Ill./Oswego East) led the Kohawk defense with seven tackles. He had three for a loss, a forced fumble and two pass break-ups. Weymiller added six tackles, including two for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Senior Terrance Lockett Jr. (St. Louis, Mo./Desmet Jesuit), junior Dylan Youel (Traer, Iowa/North Tama) and Elsbury each added five tackles. Locket had a pass break-up, while Elsbury forced a fumble.
Senior Chase Cooling (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier) punted five times for 178 yards. Four of his five punts were inside the 20-yard line. For the game, the Rams average starting field position was their own 21-yard line.
Coe outgained Cornell 431-378 in total offense. Coe rushed for 233 yards, while holding the Rams to just 20 yards on 25 carries.
This year's Kohawk seniors will have won all four games against the Rams, outscoring the longtime Linn County rival 214-35. The win gives Coe a 68-50-4 lead in the all-time series.
The Kohawks will step out of Iowa Conference competition for the final time next week. Coe will travel to Washington University in St. Louis for a 1 p.m. Kickoff Sept. 15. A link for live video can be found on the front of CoeAthletics.com.