DUBUQUE, Iowa - For the second-straight year, the high powered offenses of Coe College and Dubuque put on a show. This time around, it was Coe knocking off the defending league champions 41-38 in double overtime.
Both teams were forced to punt on their opening possessions, but it was all offense from there. Coe's second drive started inside Spartans territory, as the Kohawks went 49-yards on nine plays, capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from seniorJared McNutt (Warren, Ill./Warren) to senior Jared Kuehner (Center Point, Iowa/Center Point-Urbana). Coe faced just one third down on the drive, converting a third-and-10 on an 11-yard pass from McNutt to senior Brendan Leiran (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon).
On the third play of the second quarter, Dubuque's Wyatt Hanus found Sean Anderson for a 29-yard touchdown with 13:46 to play in the first half. The score capped a nine-play, 78-yard drive for the Spartans. After a pair of punts, the Spartans took their first lead of the game on a five-yard pass from Hanus to Anderson, finishing a seven-play, 71-yard drive. The Spartans 14-7 lead was the first time the Kohawks have trailed this season.
The Kohawks wasted no time tying the game again, as McNutt found junior Keaton Juergens (Elkader, Iowa/Central Elkader) for a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play of Coe's possession. The pass was the longest of both McNutt and Juergens careers.
Both teams exchanged punts to start the third quarter before the Spartans scored on the first play of their second possession. Hanus found Tyler Rutenbeck for a 47-yard strike with 10:18 to play in the quarter, as the Spartans took a 21-14 lead.
Coe put together its longest drive of the game following the Spartan score. Coe faced two third downs on an 11-play, 75-yard drive in 4:50. On the second third down, Leiran plowed in from two-yards out. The point-after attempt was missed, as the Spartans held a 21-20 lead with 5:35 to play in the third quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Hanus snuck in from a yard out, as Dubuque took a 28-20 lead with 14:57 to play. Coe would drive to the Dubuque 25-yard line after back-to-back runs by junior Gage Mohs (Fredericksburg, Iowa/Sumner-Fredericksburg) totaling 36 yards. McNutt was intercepted at the 11-yard line. Dubuque wasn't able to capitalize, as Coe forced a punt and took over at the Spartan 47-yard line.
Mohs carried the ball three-straight times, as the Kohawks moved to the Spartan 19-yard line. After an incomplete pass, McNutt threw his second interception inside the red zone, as Vincent Whipple intercepted the pass in the end zone.
Once again, Dubuque couldn't capitalize, as Coe took over at its own 38-yard line following a punt. Coe wasn't able to move the ball more than nine-yards, but a 48-yard punt by senior Chase Cooling (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier) pinned the Spartans at their own five-yard line. Coe used all three timeouts on the ensuing Spartan drive, forcing a Dubuque punt with 1:59 to play.
Coe took over at its own 42-yard line. On the first play of the drive, McNutt found Juergens for a 22-yard gain. On second-and-six, Mohs ran for nine-yards to the Spartan 23-yard line. With the ball at the Spartan 17-yard line, Mohs ran three-straight times for gains of nine and three before scoring from five-yards out. The touchdown cut the Spartan lead to 28-26, forcing Coe to go for the two-point conversion with :48 to play. McNutt found Cooling in the back of the end zone for the score, the first points of Coolings career.
Dubuque took over at its own 25-yard line with all three timeouts. The Spartans would get to their own 42-yard line before being forced to punt, sending the game to overtime.
The Spartans won the toss, electing to go on defense to start overtime. Mohs carried the ball on the first two plays before catching a 14-yard screen pass from McNutt on third-and-four. After a three-yard gain from Mohs, Leiran carried the ball on back-to-back plays, scoring on the second from a yard out. Junior Wes Anderson's point-after attempt was good, as Coe took a 35-28 lead. It took Dubuque just two plays to score on its possession, as Hanus found Miles Hookstead for a 25-yard touchdown on second-and-10.
Coe's defense forced a three-and-out on the Spartans' second overtime possession, as H. Sandoval drilled a 42-yard field goal. The Kohawks needed a field goal for a third overtime or a touchdown for the win on their overtime possession. Leiran rushed three-straight times for 12-yards before McNutt found Kuehner in the back of the end zone for the game winning touchdown.
The Kohawks held a 180-148 advantage on the ground, while throwing for 260. Coe totaled 440 yards of total offense on 75 plays, while Dubuque had 373 on 68 plays. Coe was 7-of-14 on third downs, while the Spartans were 6-of-16.
Mohs finished with 18 carries for 138 yards, while Leiran had 24 carries for 54 yards. Leiran became the fourth Kohawk in school history to carry the ball over 500 times in his career. McNutt was 17-of-27 passing for 260 yards. He tied a career-high with three touchdown passes. Kuehner finished with five receptions for 64 yards and two scores, while Juergens caught four passes for a career-high 113 yards. Senior Kris Hopkins (Keokuk, Iowa/Keokuk) caught a career-high four passes for 25 yards. Kuehner moved into a tie for second on the career receiving touchdowns list with 21.
Cooling totaled six punts for 197 yards. He moved into first on Coe's career punts list with 129 and total punting yards with 4,605. He surpassed Head Coach Steve Staker's son, Shane, who set the record during his career from 1993-96.
Senior Frank Weymiller (New Albin, Iowa/Waukon) led the Kohawk defense with 10 tackles, including nine solos. JuniorAntoine Allen-Jackson (Aurora, Ill./Oswego East) tallied a career-high eight tackles, while junior Mitch Montgomery(Lisbon, Iowa/Lisbon), senior Zach West (Tiffin, Iowa/Clear Creek-Amana) and sophomore Gaetano Tarantino (Valejo, Calif./St. Patrick-St. Vincent) each recorded seven tackles. It tied a career-high for Montgomery, while it was a new career-high for Tarantino. West also added two tackles for loss.
The Kohawks return to action next Saturday, as the face Simpson. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. in Indianola. Coe and Simpson are both 3-0 in the Iowa Conference, the only two remaining undefeated teams in league play.