Kohawks win 11th straight over rival Rams
Entering the game, junior quarterback Brad Boyle (New Sharon, Iowa/North Mahaska) had thrown a touchdown pass in 22 of his 23 career games, with last year's 56-7 win over Cornell the only game he hadn't thrown one in. Boyle made up for that on the first play of the game. After a 24-yard kick return by sophomore Bryce Sampson (Nevada, Iowa/Roland-Story), Boyle found sophomore Jared Kuehner (Center Point, Iowa/Center Point-Urbana) for a 59-yard touchdown pass.
On the shoulders of quarterback Andrew Burdick, who had a hand in 8-of-9 plays on the opening drive, the Rams marched into Kohawk territory. On third-and-two, senior Seth Johnson (Glidden, Iowa/Glidden-Ralston) intercepted a Burdick pass at the 13 yard line.
After seven plays of moving the ball out from deep in its own territory, the Kohawks added to their lead. Sophomore Brendan Leiran (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon) busted a run 53-yards up the middle, giving Coe a 14-0 lead with 6:22 left in the first quarter.
The Rams were forced to punt on their next possession. Coe took the ball and drove to the one-yard line at the end of the first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, Leiran crossed the goal line from one-yard out, giving Coe a 20-0 lead.
Cornell looked to eat up the clock in the second quarter, as they took 6:34 off the clock with a 14 play drive that covered just 32 yards. Cornell had made it to the Coe four-yard line, but a fumble pushed them all the way back to the 21-yard line, where Anthony Bridges missed a 38-yard field goal attempt.
Two drives later, the Kohawks put up more points. Taking over with 1:18 to play in the half, Leiran rushed for eight yards on the first play of the drive. The offense followed that with a 65-yard touchdown pass from Boyle to senior Michael Rozum (Byron, Ill./Byron), giving Coe a 27-0 lead at the break.
Cornell opened the second half with the ball, but junior Tyler Hemry (West Union, Iowa/North Fayette) sacked back-up quarterback Juan Flores, causing a fumble that Hemry recovered at the Cornell 18-yard line. Just like their first offensive play of the first half, the Kohawks scored on their first offensive play of the second half. Boyle found senior Ryan Jones (Hapers Ferry, Iowa/Waukon) for an 18-yard touchdown, giving Coe a 34-0 lead with 14:17 left in the third quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, sophomore Zach West (Tiffin, Iowa/Clear Creek Amana) intercepted a pass from Burdick at the Ram five-yard line. On the next play, junior Ryan Bach (Carroll, Iowa/Carroll) scored his first career touchdown, giving Coe a 40-0 lead with 14:52 to play.
Cornell had its next possession end with an interception as well. This time around it was senior Cody Kriegel (Coggon, Iowa/North-Linn) picking off Juan Flores and returning it 64-yards to the Cornell 14-yard line. After a six-yard carry by Bach, sophomore Jared McNutt (Warren, Ill./Warren) took the quarterback keep eight-yards for a score, the first of his career. Cornell added its only points of the game with :30 left on a 13-yard pass from Kody Karjala to Chris Lopez.
Leiran finished the day with 119 yards rushing, his ninth game this year going over 100-yards, and two touchdowns. Junior Jacob Frederick (Waterloo, Iowa/Columbus) added a career-high 46-yards on 10 carries.
Boyle finished 11-of-14 for 245 yards and three passing touchdowns. It was his ninth three passing touchdown game of his career. Rozum led the Kohawks with three receptions and 85 yards. His three receptions gives him 100 for his career, just the ninth player to do so in school history.
On the defensive side of the ball, West led all defenders with a career-high 11 tackles. Junior Ben Carr (Clinton, Iowa/Prince of Peace) added seven, while senior Nate Clear (Dallas, Texas/Bishop Lynch) added six.
Coe finishes the regular season with a 7-1 Iowa Conference record and 9-1 overall record. The Kohawks will await their postseason fate, as the NCAA holds its selection show at 2 p.m. Sunday on ESPNews.