Kohawks big second half beats #7 Central 37-28

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In just the fifth top 10 battle amongst Iowa Conference schools in league history, the two teams put on a show that lived up to the expectations.  The teams combined for 999 yards of offense, 65 points and just seven penalties.  The Kohawks tallied 533 yards of offense, the third-straight week of 500 yards or more, as they used a balanced attack in a steady rain all afternoon.

The two teams exchanged punts on their opening possessions, but it was Central that used a 26-yard punt return from Mike Furlong and a face mask penalty on Coe to set up the game's first score.  In just two plays, Nate Snead scored from five yards out on a quarterback draw to put the Dutch up 7-0.

Coe quickly answered back with a 70-yard drive on six plays to tie the game.  On third and two, junior quarterback Brad Boyle (New Sharon, Iowa/North Mahaska) rushed in on the left side for a nine-yard score.  The point after attempt by senior Elliot Rausa (Waterloo, Iowa/Columbus) tied the game at seven with 8:29 to play in the opening quarter.

Central's final possession of the quarter led to another score.  After a five-yard rush by Ross Doehrmann on first down, Doehrmann rushed 52-yards off the left side to the Kohawk one-yard line.  On the next play, N. Snead plunged in for the score.

Just like their last score, the Kohawks went to work on their ensuing drive.  This time it was a 55-yard drive on four plays, in just 1:18 to put more points on the scoreboard.  On the first play of the drive, senior Michael Rozum (Byron, Ill./Byron) rushed 23 yards.  Just two plays later, following a Kohawk timeout, Boyle connected with senior Tyler Takes (Ely, Iowa/Solon) for a 16-yard touchdown pass.  Rausa's extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the Dutch with a 14-13 lead with 13:52 to play in the opening half.

The Dutch used up 4:18 on their ensuing drive, as they went 68-yards on nine plays to take a 21-13 lead.  Central used another big rush from Doehrmann for 27-yards, along with converting a third down inside the 10-yard line, before Snead rushed in from four-yards out with 9:36 to play in the half.

As the offensive highlight show was going, the Kohawks marched right back down the field with another score of their own.  After throwing incompletions on the first two plays of the drive, Boyle found junior Nick Ratchford (Waterloo, Iowa/Columbus) for a 27-yard gain down the sidelines.  On the next play, sophomore Brendan Leiran (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon) rushed for a career-long 22-yards.  Boyle took over from their, rushing 18-yards on the next four plays, including a nine-yard run to get the Kohawks back within one at 21-20.

The Dutch took over with 7:12 left in the first half, as they drove down field to score their final points of the game.  On first and 10, N. Snead found his brother, Jeremy Snead, for a 33-yard touchdown pass, giving the Dutch a 28-20 lead with 4:03 to play in the half.  Coe wasn't able to score on its possession, as they punted away to the Dutch.  Central made it to the Kohawk 28-yard line, but a 45-yard field goal attempt by Jake Viggers fell short at the buzzer.

After deferring in the first half, Coe took the ball to start the second half.  On the first play of the half, Boyle took the snap up the gut for 34-yards.  After an 11-yard pass from Boyle to Leiran, Leiran rushed for nine-yards on the next play.  Following two dropped passes on second and third downs, the Kohawks settled for a 37-yard field goal from Rausa, his longest of the season.  The kick with 11:26 to play in the third quarter was the 30th make of his career, joining Michael Herzberger as the only two kickers in school history with 30 field goals or more.

The teams exchanged punts until late in the third quarter.  On second down, Leiran rushed for 15-yards up the middle before rushing for 21-yards on the following play.  Facing fourth and five, Boyle found Takes for five yards, passing the first down marker by inches.  Following a false start penalty on the Kohawks, Boyle found Leiran wide open in the end zone for 19-yards.  The point after by Rausa gave the Kohawks a 30-28 lead they would never let go of.

Facing third and six on the first play of the fourth quarter, N. Snead found Furlong for a 43-yard completion, but a forced fumble by senior Dillon Mellick (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon) gave the Kohawks the ball back, as it rolled out of the end zone for a touch back.  Coe moved the ball to the Central 28-yard line, but came up short on fourth and six with 12:23 to play.  Central marched to the Kohawk 16-yard line, but a 35-yard field goal attempt by Jake Viggers sailed wide right.

With 9:03 to play, the Kohawks took over at their own 20-yard line.  Boyle completed a pass to Rozum for 22-yards on the first play of the drive to set the tone for the final scoring drive.  Following a three-yard rush by Leiran, Boyle again found Rozum for 18-yards.  On first down, Boyle threw an 18-yard pass to Ratchford, as the Kohawks moved into the red zone.  Leiran then ran up the middle for 14-yards before giving way to Boyle for a five-yard score, nearly sealing the Kohawk win with a 37-28 lead with 5:55 to play. 

On the third play of Central's ensuing possession, junior Austin Lloyd (Center Point, Iowa/Center Point-Urbana) intercepted a N. Snead pass at the Kohawk 33-yard line.  Coe was forced to punt from the Dutch 41-yard line, but a 36-yard punt by sophomore Chase Cooling (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier) was downed at the five-yard line.

Working out of a hole with little time on the clock, N. Snead was intercepted on the third play of the drive by senior Cody Kriegel (Coggan, Iowa/North-Linn).  After two plays of taking a knee, the Kohawks celebrated their fourth win of the season.

Leiran finished with a career-high 138 yards rushing on 19 carries, while Boyle tallied 82 yards rushing on 19 carries.  Boyle scored three times on the ground, tying his career-high for the fifth time.  Rozum rushed six times for 41 yards, including a career-long 23 yards.  Takes also had one carry for 31 yards, a career-high.

Takes led the Kohawk receivers with six grabs for 74 yards.  Rozum added five receptions for 61 yards, while Ratchford caught three passes for 65 yards.

Junior Tyler Hemry (West Union, Iowa/North Fayette) led the defense with nine tackles, including three for a loss and two sacks.  It was the fourth time in his career to record two sacks in a game.  Juniors Connor Worthington (Carlisle, Iowa/Carlisle) and Ben Carr (Clinton, Iowa/Prince of Peace) tallied eight tackles apiece. 

The ninth-ranked Kohawks improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Iowa Conference with the win, while the seventh-ranked Dutch dropped to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the Iowa Conference.  Coe returns to action on Saturday, as they travel to Dubuque for a 1 p.m. kickoff.