Kohawks roll Cornell for 14th-straight victory in rivalry

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The 22nd-ranked Coe College football team scored the first 42 points of the game Saturday, as they rolled to a 42-7 victory over Cornell. It was the 14th-straight win for Coe in the oldest football rivalry West of the Mississippi River.

Cornell went 66 yards on the opening drive of the game, but seniorAntoine Allen-Jackson (Aurora, Ill./Oswego East) intercepted Ram Quarterback Juan Flores in the end zone. Coe moved the ball to the Ram 21-yard line, but Wes Anderson's 39-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left. After a three-and-out from the Kohawk defense, Coe once again moved to the Ram 22-yard line. Anderson's second 39-yard attempt went left as well.

The Rams had the ball at their own 40-yard line when Flores was hit by junior Gaetano Tarantino (Vallejo, Calif./St. Patrick-St. Vincent) after an eight-yard gain. The ball popped loose, with senior Jordan Atwater (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Linn-Mar) recovering it. Coe wasn't able to capitalize, as both teams exchanged punts to start the second quarter.

On Coe's second drive of the second quarter,senior Gage Mohs (Fredericksburg, Iowa/Sumner-Fredericksburg) plunged in from five-yards out, capping a seven-play, 42 yard drive for the Kohawks, giving Coe a 7-0 lead with 8:27 to play in the first half.

Following another Ram punt, Coe moved the ball to the Ram 10-yard line. Mohs was hit in the backfield, fumbling the ball. On the next play, Cornell fumbled with senior Mitch Montgomery (Lisbon, Iowa/Lisbon) recovering at the eight-yard line. Three plays later, sophomore Josh Rekers (Dike, Iowa/Dike-New Hartford), making his first career start at quarterback, plunged in from a yard out with 3:29 to play in the half, giving Coe a 14-0 lead.

Coe punted on the opening drive of the second half, but the defense put on a show on the next drive. After back-to-back rushes of seven-yards by Ethan Thompson of Cornell, Flores was intercepted by Allen-Jackson for the second time. This time, Allen-Jackson housed it from 68-yards out, dodging numerous defenders along the way. It was his first career touchdown.

After three-straight punts by both teams, Coe took over with 6:12 to play in the third quarter at its own 29-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Rekers found junior Dominik Lensing (Calmar, Iowa/South Winneshiek) for a 68-yard touchdown, the first passing touchdown of his career. On the Rams final drive of the third quarter, Flores was intercepted by Allen-Jackson once again, this time coming at the Kohawk three-yard line.

On the opening drive of the fourth quarter, Coe put together a 10-play, 86 yard drive, as Rekers found juniorAlex Christenson (Oskaloosa, Iowa/Oskaloosa) for a 43-yard touchdown with 9:40 to play. After three-straight punts, the Kohawks took over with 4:43 to play. Facing third-and-six, senior Tyler Sylvester (Elkader, Iowa/Central Elkader) found sophomore Trevor Heitland (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) on a screen pass for a 41-yard touchdown pass, giving Coe a 42-0 lead with 2:24 to play.

Cornell put together a seven-play, 77 yard drive in 1:57, scoring on a 22-yard touchdown run by Hayden Howard on fourth-and-one with :20 to play. The Kohawks were looking for the first shutout in the rivalry since Coe beat Cornell 35-0 in 1989.

With their 14th-straight win in the series, the Kohawks improve their lead in the all-time series to 69-50-4. Coe has now scored 34 or more points in six-straight games in the series. Cornell held a 173-111 advantage in rushing yards, while Coe had a 342-114 advantage through the air. 

Mohs finished with a game-high 19 carries for 71 yards, including a score. Senior Carvin Thompson (Dallas, Texas/Life Charter) rushed nine times for 35 yards.

Rekers finished 20-of-28 passing for 301 yards, the 30th 300-yard performance in school history. He also threw for two touchdowns. Senior Keaton Juergens (Elkader, Iowa/Central Elkader) had a career-high nine receptions for 112 yards. Sophomore Elijah Phillips (Miami, Fla./Southridge) also had a career-high with four receptions for 32 yards. 

Senior Kris Schult (Tripoli, Iowa/Tripoli) and Tarantino both had a career-high 10 tackles to lead the defense. JuniorMitchell Berendes (Dubuque, Iowa/Hempstead) had a career-high eight tackles. Montgomery tied a career-high with seven tackles, while senior Shane Moses (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) also had a career-high with six tackles. Atwater also added six tackles. Allen-Jackson became the first player since Seth Johnson in 2008 with three interceptions in a game.

The Kohawks (2-0) return to action next Saturday as they host Washington University (St. Louis). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Clark Field. A link for live video and live stats can be found on the front page of CoeAthletics.com.