INDIANOLA, Iowa - For the third time in school history, the Coe College football team went 10-0 in the regular season. The Kohawks completed the perfect regular season with a 47-29 win over Simpson on Saturday.
The Kohawks scored early and often against the Storm, as they pushed their winning streak to 11 games. Coe didn't face a third down on the opening drive, as Trevor Heitland (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) scored from 29 yards out on the first drive of the game to give Coe a 6-0 lead with 12:47 to play in the first quarter. Simpson answered with a touchdown of its own, as Caleb Frye found Devin Norman for a 35-yard touchdown pass on third-and-four with 9:08 to play in the first frame, evening the score at 6-6. The two teams exchanged punts before Coe scored again late in the quarter. Coe went on a 77-yard drive, as Heitland carried the ball on seven of the 11 plays before scoring from 15-yards out on the final play of the drive. Brandon Abbas (Aplington, Iowa/Aplington Parkersburg) hit the point after, giving Coe a 13-6 lead with 3:37 left in the opening quarter.
Simpson's final drive was stopped on third-and-19, as Austin Troendle (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon) intercepted a Frye pass at the Coe 38-yard line. On the first play of the second quarter, Gavin Glenn (Adel, Iowa/ADM) found Demetrius Harper (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie) for a 41-yard touchdown pass. The kick by Abbas was blocked and returned by Ryan Sarver for a defensive PAT. Coe led 19-8 with 14:52 to play in the second quarter after the return.
Coe's defense forced another punt on the next Simpson possession. The Kohawks went 66 yards in just 2:17 for a touchdown. Glenn ended the drive with back-to-back passes of 29 yards to Tyler Gunderson (Marion, Iowa/Marion) and 13 yards to Harper for the score. The kick by Abbas gave Coe a 26-8 lead with 9:47 to play in the first half. Coe forced a fumble on the next play for Simpson, but quickly turned the ball over on four downs. With 3:55 to play in the first half, Jackson Redmond threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Russell on a wide receiver reverse pass, as Simpson cut the Coe lead to 26-15 at the half.
Just like the first half, Coe started the second half scoring early in the period. After a Simpson punt, Coe went 70 yards on 12 plays before Heitland scored from nine yards out. The kick by Abbas with 7:39 to play in the third quarter gave Coe a 33-15. The offense didn't spend much time on the sidelines, as Ryan Leonard (Center Junction, Iowa/Midland) picked off a Frye pass on the first play of the next Simpson drive. Seven plays later, Glenn found Mitchell Malloy (Riverside, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield) for a nine-yard touchdown pass. Abbas gave Coe a 40-15 lead with 4:51 to play in the third quarter on the PAT.
Simpson drove to the Kohawk one yard line, but Coe stopped the Storm on three-straight plays and took over at its own three-yard line to start the next drive. The Kohawks needed just 3:33 to go 97 yards for a score. Brandon Roseberry (Center Point, Iowa/Center Point-Urbana) had carries on five of the nine plays on the drive, including a 25-yard touchdown run with 11:25 to play. The kick by Abbas gave Coe a 47-15 lead. The PAT was the 52nd of the season for Abbas, setting a new school record. Simpson added two scores in the final 5:09, as Coe came away with the 47-29 victory.
Coe held a 324-248 advantage on the ground, while Simpson held a 188-165 advantage through the air. Coe had 489 yards of total offense on 77 plays, while Simpson had 436 yards of total offense on 72 plays.
Heitland finished with a career-high 238 yards rushing, as he joined 1994 Gagliardi Trophy winner Carey Bender (2,243 yards in 1994 and 1,831 yards in 1993) and former NFL standout Fred Jackson (1,702 yards in 2002) as the only players in school history to rush for over 1,500 yards in a season. Heitland enters the postseason with 1,619 yards. Heitland also moved into fifth in school history with 243 carries on the year. Roseberry finished with 82 yards on 12 carries.
Glenn was 14-of-28 passing for 162 yards and three touchdowns. Glenn moved into a tie for second in school history with his 24th touchdown pass of the season. Gunderson tied a career-high with five receptions for 57 yards. Harper and Colton Martin (Alburnett, Iowa/Alburnett) each had three receptions, with Harper having 64 yards and Martin finishing with 20.
Drew Heitland (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) led the Kohawk defense with a career-high seven tackles. Andrew Johnson (Hiawatha, Iowa/Kennedy), Dylan Stepleton (Tipton, Iowa/Wilton), Jarred Hodge (Ormond Beach, Fla./Mainland) and Leonard each added six tackles. Heitland also had one and a half tackles for a loss and recovered a fumble.
The 15th-ranked Kohawks (10-0, 8-0 IIAC) will participate in the NCAA Division III Playoffs next Saturday. Coe will learn the location of its game and its opponent Sunday night. The selection show will be aired on NCAA.com at 5 p.m. Sunday.