September 29, 2011

Central looks to bounce back in Iowa Conference race

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Whatever questions arose out of a deflating road defeat must be answered quickly as the Central College football team prepares to tackle red-hot Coe College in the Dutch homecoming contest Saturday.

Game time is 1 p.m. at Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium. Central is 2-2 overall and 1-1 in Iowa Conference action after a 56-28 setback at the University of Dubuque. Coe is also 2-2 overall but 2-0 in the league after stunning No. 10 Wartburg College with a come-from-behind 27-24 road victory Saturday.

On the air/cybersphere— Trevor Castle will call the play-by-play of Saturday's game on KRLS-FM (92.1) and the broadcast can also be accessed through Central's website at www.central.edu/athletics or through www.kniakrls.com.

A video webcast and live stats can also be viewed at www.central.edu/athletics. A delayed telecast is offered to Pella Mediacom customers through PTV 12 next Tuesday at 1 p.m. and Thursday at 7 p.m.

KRLS radio also airs the Coaches' Corner featuring Dutch coach Jeff McMartin at Applebee's restaurant in Pella each Monday night at 7 p.m. The show can be accessed online, either live or via podcast.

The series—Coe defeated the Dutch at Cedar Rapids last year, 37-28, but Central leads the all-time series 12-7-2. The teams first met in 1925.

The Kohawks—Coe has played a brutal schedule, traveling to 16th-ranked Texas powerhouse Hardin-Simmons, and NAIA Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) before starting conference play. Just one of Coe's first five games is at home.

"Coe is a very good football team," McMartin said. "This will be a great challenge for us. Coe is very talented across the board. It's a complete football team.

"They had a couple of really tough non-conference games but I think that helped them continue to improve. Now they're right where everyone thought they would be."

Coe is averaging 373.2 yards total offense with a league-leading 191.5 yards rushing and 181.8 yards through the air. Senior quarterback Brad Boyle, a two-time conference player of the year, is the Kohawks' leading rusher with 288 yards on 56 carries with six touchdowns while completing 64 of 113 passes for 727 yards and three touchdowns with eight interceptions. Jared Kuehner is the top receiver with 19 catches for 239 yards and one score.

"They've got a fantastic quarterback who throws the ball well and runs it well," McMartin said. "He's a true dual threat and he's a smart quarterback. Their offense is loaded. They've got a lot of weapons."

The Coe defense ranks second in the league against the run (132.5 yards). Junior defensive back Demetreus Johnson has two interceptions. Senior linebacker Ben Carr is the top tackler with 26, including four tackles for loss with 1.5 sacks and one interception. Junior defensive lineman Frank Weymiller has 25 stops. He's tops in the league in tackles for loss (nine), sacks (five) and forced fumbles (two). Weymiller has caught McMartin's eye.

"He's one of the more dominant players in the conference," he said. "He's got tremendous speed and is very athletic. Their linebackers are good, the defensive backs do a great job and their scheme is sound. This will be a super challenge."

The Kohawks have come up big in the clutch. They've scored just seven first-quarter points in four games but have outscored opponents in the fourth quarter, 37-14.

Bouncing back—Dubuque piled up some record-breaking numbers against the Dutch last Saturday and while McMartin has analyzed it, he said it's important for the team to look forward.

"What happened Saturday is done," he said. "We've got to learn from it, but it's over. We've got to put our blinders on and go to work. We have to get better and I'm confident that we can do that."

Dutch numbers—Quarterback Nate Snead  has taken over the conference rushing lead, averaging 103.0 yards through four games (412 yards, 97 carries). He's fifth in passing yards (183.0), third in pass efficiency (49-93-5, 7 TDs, 132.9), second in total offense (286.0 yards) and tied for second in scoring (9.0 points). Mike Furlong is second in kick return average (23.3 yards). Preston Roberts is second in punting yards (40.8). Freshman Kevin Sheldon  is 17-of-17 on extra points. Linebacker Keith Rush is eighth in tackles (8.2), third in tackles for loss (1.62) and fourth in sacks (0.75).

Notes--Central is getting hurt in the first quarter, when the Dutch have been outscored 41-16. They finish strong, however, with a 42-14 advantage in the fourth quarter…Central's first four opponents have relied on the pass, averaging 38 attempts…Central has won its last two homecoming games.

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