CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Both teams scored a touchdown in the final three minutes, but it was Coe College that scored last in a 37-34 victory over Wartburg Saturday at Clark Field.
On Wartburg's first play of the game, Jake Haberman rushed 64 yards off the left side to the Kohawk 14 yard line. The Kohawk defense held from there, forcing a 32-yard field goal from Brayton Brandt with 11:19 to play in the first quarter. The Kohawks answered on the ensuing drive, reaching the one-yard line on a 14-yard run by Trevor Heitland (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy). Coe was not able to punch it in the end zone, but Brandon Abbas (Aplington, Iowa/Aplington Parkersburg) connected on a 22-yard field goal with 7:09 left in the opening frame to even the game at 3-3. The Knights wasted no time regaining the lead, as Matt Sacia found Collin Werkman for a 72-yard touchdown pass on the very next play, giving Wartburg a 10-3 lead with 6:51 to play in the first quarter.
The Kohawks quickly found the end zone on their first possession of the second quarter. On Coe's first play, Gavin Glenn (Adel, Iowa/ADM) found Seth Williams (Kahoka, Mo./Clark County) for a 71-yard touchdown pass, the longest reception of his career. The point after attempt by Abbas evened the game at 10-10 with 13:56 to play in the first half. Coe was forced to punt on its next possession but scored again on the next. Facing third-and-two from their own 36-yard line, Trevor Heitland went untouched off the right side for a 64-yard touchdown run, the longest run of his career. The kick by Abbas gave Coe a 17-10 lead with 7:25 to play in the first half.
Both teams put together long drives to start the third quarter, with both teams coming away with a field goal. Wartburg had a 17-play, 67-yard drive that took 8:00 off the clock before Brandt hit a 20-yard field goal. The Kohawks answered with a 14-play, 71-yard drive that took 6:12 off the clock. Coe's drive ended with a 24-yard field goal by Abbas.
Wartburg scored on the opening drive of the fourth quarter, as Sacia found Haberman for a six-yard score to cap a 73-yard drive. The touchdown tied the game at 20-20 with 12:35 to play. Coe's ensuing drive was stalled by a penalty before Abbas connected on a 32-yard field goal with 8:18 to play, giving Coe a 23-20 lead. Wartburg quickly moved into Kohawk territory on the next drive, butRobbie Peters (Mount Vernon, Iowa/Mount Vernon) intercepted a screen pass and returned it 50-yards for a touchdown. The PAT by Abbas with 6:49 to play gave Coe a 30-20 lead. Once again, Wartburg wasted no time scoring as Sacia found Griffin Brennec for a 67-yard strike, drawing the Knights within 30-27 with 6:32 to play.
Coe went three-and-out on the next drive, the only possession of the second half the Kohawks did not score on. Wartburg moved the ball down the field and took a 34-30 lead with 2:41 to play on a one-yard quarterback sneak by Sacia. The Kohawks were called for roughing the kicker on the PAT, allowing Wartburg to kickoff from midfield after the score.
After a gain of three yards by Heitland on first down, Glenn found Demetrius Harper (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie) for a 60-yard strike to the Knight 12 yard line. Heitland rushed for a yard on the next play before Glenn found Harper for an 11-yard touchdown. The kick by Abbas with 1:35 to play gave Coe a 37-34 lead. The Knights wouldn't go away after Coe took the lead. Wartburg moved to midfield, converting a fourth down along the way. Facing second-and-eight, Peters and Andrew Netolicky (Swisher, Iowa/Prairie) combined for a sack. An incomplete pass on third-and-14 forced the Knight into a do-or-die fourth down with :28 left. Austin Troendle (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon) ended the Wartburg threat at the Coe 35-yard line, as he picked off Sacia to seal the Kohawk victory.
Coe held a 257-153 advantage in rushing yards, while the Knights had a 379-257 advantage through the year. Wartburg had a 532-514 advantage in total offense, running 11 more plays than the Kohawks. Coe was 6-of-16 on third downs, while the Knights were 8-of-19.
Heitland rushed a career-high 31 times for a career-high 204 yards, the most by anyone in the Iowa Conference this season. Glenn had eight carries for a career-high 36 yards. Glenn was also 9-of-19 passing for 257 yards. Williams caught two passes for 86 yards, while Harper caught two passes for 71 yards. Heitland had two receptions for 35 yards. With three field goals on the day, Abbas moved into a tie for third in school history with 20 career made field goals.
Ryan Leonard (Center Junction, Iowa/Midland) had a career day for the Kohawk defense, finishing with a career-high in tackles (12), sacks (2.0) and tackles for loss (3.5). Robbie Peters added a career-high seven tackles, while Nick Elsbury (Byron, Ill./Byron) also had seven. Rory Siddell (Solon, Iowa/Solon) added six tackles. Drew Heitland (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) had six quarterback hurries.
The Kohawks (5-0, 3-0 IIAC) return to action next Saturday, as they host Central (4-1, 2-1 IIAC) for homecoming. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Clark Field. A link to live video and stats is available at CoeAthletics.com.