DUBUQUE, Iowa - After a slow start, the Coe College football team scored 23 unanswered points to beat 21st-ranked Dubuque 23-12. The Kohawks and Spartans were the last two unbeaten teams in the Iowa Conference.
The Kohawk defense stopped Dubuque on the opening drive of the game at the Coe 13 yard line on fourth down. Three plays later,Gavin Glenn (Adel, Iowa/ADM) was intercepted by Michael Joseph at the Coe 19 yard line. Dubuque went for it on fourth down again, as Conor Feckley found Emanuel Jenkins for a six-yard touchdown pass. The point after attempt was no good, as the Spartans led 6-0 with 8:02 to play in the first quarter.
Coe faced fourth-and-one at the Dubuque 27 yard line, but a high snap on the attempt gave the Spartans the ball. Dubuque wasn't able to capitalize, as Coe made a stop on fourth down to get the ball back. Dubuque scored its second touchdown later in the quarter, as Feckley found Austin Morgan for a 20-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-five with 3:01 left in the half. The two-point conversion was no good, as Dubuque led 12-0. Coe ended the half in a big way, going 75 yards on 14 plays in 2:55 to score. Glenn foundDemetrius Harper (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie) for a 10-yard touchdown pass with :07 left in the half. The kick by Brandon Abbas(Aplington, Iowa/Aplington Parkersburg) cut the Spartan lead to 12-7 at the half.
The Kohawks came up empty on all three drives in the third quarter. Coe started the fourth and scored on its opening possession, as Glenn found Colton Martin (Alburnett, Iowa/Alburnett) for a five-yard touchdown pass. The kick by Abbas gave Coe a 14-12 lead with 13:48 to play. The Kohawk defense forced a three-and-out, as Coe got the ball back at its own 31 yard line with 12:21 to play. Coe fed the beast on the ensuing drive, as Trevor Heitland (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) carried the ball on nine of the 14 plays. Glenn had the carry on the final play, as he scored from a yard out. The point-after attempt was no good, as Coe led 20-12 with 5:05 left.
Dubuque faced third-and-10 on the next drive, but a sack by Robbie Peters (Mount Vernon, Iowa/Mount Vernon) forced a fumble that Peters recovered at the Spartan 22 yard line. Heitland carried the ball on the next five plays before Abbas kicked an 18-yard field goal with 2:14 left, giving Coe the 23-12 lead. Two plays later, Dylan Stepleton (Tipton, Iowa/Wilton) picked off Feckley, sealing the Kohawk victory.
Coe held a 228 to 62 advantage on the ground, while the Spartans had a 161 to 100 yard advantage in the air. Coe ran 84 plays for 328 yards, while Dubuque had 223 yards on 61 plays. The Kohawks held a 36:50-23:10 advantage in time of possession. Coe was 8-of-19 on third downs and 2-of-4 on fourth downs, while the Spartans were 2-of-14 on third downs and 4-of-8 on fourth downs.
Heitland finished with a school record 51 carries, breaking Carey Bender's record of 42 against Beloit on Nov. 12, 1994. Heitland's total is also the most by any player in the country this year. Heitland finished with 216 yards rushing, setting a new career-high for the third-straight week. Heitland's streak of three-straight games over 200 yards rushing is the second longest in school history. Bender had over 200 yards in seven-straight games from Oct. 1 to Nov. 12, 1994. Heitland moved into 10th in school history with 1,147 yards rushing this season.
Glenn was 14-of-19 passing for 100 yards. Martin caught seven passes for 53 yards, while Tyler Gunderson (Marion, Iowa/Marion) caught four passes for 30 yards. It tied a career-high in receptions for Martin and Gunderson.
Rory Siddell (Solon, Iowa/Solon) led the Kohawk defense with seven tackles, while Drew Heitland (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy), Andrew Johnson (Hiawatha, Iowa/Kennedy) and Nick Elsbury (Byron, Ill./Byron) each had five tackles. Heitland also had a sack and two and a half tackles for loss.
The Kohawks (7-0, 5-0 IIAC) return to action on Saturday, as they travel to Luther (2-4, 1-3 IIAC). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Decorah. A link to live video is available at CoeAthletics.com.