STORM LAKE, Iowa - A late surge on both sides of the ball ignited the Kohawks on Saturday, as they scored twice in the final 2:11 to beat Buena Vista 21-7 at J. Leslie Rollins Stadium.
Neither team could get anything going in the first quarter, as the four combined drives led to a punt, failed fourth down, fumble and missed field goal. The Beavers punted for the second time on the day with their first possession of the second quarter, giving the Kohawks the ball at their own 20-yard line for the first scoring drive of the day.
Coe pieced together its most time consuming drive of the season, as they went 80 yards on 20 plays in 8:14. Entering the game, Coe ranked fifth in the nation in time of possession per game, but didn't have a drive longer than six minutes on the year. Only three plays on the drive went for more than 10 yards, with a long of 12, as Coe converted three third downs and a pair of fourth downs along the way. With 4:13 to play in the half, sophomore Josh Rekers (Dike, Iowa/Dike-New Hartford) found junior Nick Lenstra (Peosta, Iowa/Western Dubuque) for a three-yard strike, giving Coe an early 7-0 lead.
The Beavers wasted no time scoring, as they went 69 yards on six plays in 2:43 to even the score. On second down, Bobby Brown found Ben Seitz for a 34-yard gain to move into Coe territory before throwing a 20-yard pass to Gunner Gilland on second-and-eight to tie the game with 1:26 to play in the half. After throwing a pass for a loss on first down, Coe took a knee to end the half with the game tied at 7-7.
Coe opened the second half with a 76-yard drive, but a 22-yard field goal attempt by senior Wes Anderson (Newhall, Iowa/Benton Community) sailed wide left. The Beavers drove into Kohawk territory, but Brown's fourth-down pass attempt to Gilland was broken up by senior Jordan Atwater (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Linn-Mar).
Following a Kohawk punt, Buena Vista put together an 11 play drive for 34 yards, but a 32-yard field goal attempt by Tyler Stolen was partially blocked by the Kohawks, as it went wide right with :55 left in the third quarter. Senior Gage Mohs(Sumner, Iowa/Sumner-Fredericksburg) rushed for five and 10 yards on the final two plays of the third quarter, as Coe started the fourth at it's own 35-yard line.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Rekers found senior Keaton Juergens (Elkader, Iowa/Central Elkader) for a gain of 43 yards. The Kohawks moved to the Beaver seven yard line, but Rekers was picked off by Brady Randall at the three-yard line on second down. The Beavers failed to capitalize, as they punted from their own 43-yard line.
Coe went three-and-out on the next drive, as Rekers was 1-for-3 with a nine-yard pass to sophomore Elijah Phillips (Miami, Fla./Southridge) on third down. Buena Vista then put together a drive that looked like it was going to lead to a go-ahead score, but senior Dylan Youel (Traer, Iowa/North Tama) intercepted a pass by Brown at the Coe 32-yard line, returning it 41 yards to the Beaver 27 yard line.
Mohs ran the ball back-to-back times for nine yards before Rekers rushed for a first down on a gain of four yards. Mohs moved the ball to the 11-yard line with a gain of three before Coe attempted its first pass of the drive. Rekers found Phillips open in the end zone, but a drop led to third down. Phillips made up for it on the second pass, as he took the pass in the flat and dove across the pylon for an 11-yard touchdown that gave the Kohawks a 14-7 lead with 2:11 to play.
Buena Vista started the next drive at its own 21-yard line, but four incomplete passes gave the Kohawks the ball back with 1:35 to play. The Beavers still had two timeouts, so Coe was unable to take a knee to end the game. On the first play of the drive, Mohs rushed off the left side of a gain of 20 yards, getting pushed out of bounds just short of the goal line. On the next play, Rekers dove in from a yard out, giving Coe a two possession lead. Anderson came in to notch in third point after attempt of the game, giving Coe a 21-7 lead. Buena Vista moved the ball to its own 35-yard line, but a sack by seniorBen Schmidt (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) on third down ended the game.
Coe held a 177-110 advantage on the ground, while the Beavers threw for 216, compared to Coe's 197. The Kohawks held a 374-326 advantage in total offense.Coe was 3-of-4 on fourth downs, while Buena Vista was 0-for-2. Both teams struggled in the red zone, as Coe was 3-for-6 and Buena Vista was 1-of-2.
Mohs tied a career-high for the second-straight game with 30 carries. He rushed for 152 yards, moving him over 1,000 for his career. Rekers was 18-of-31 passing for 197 yards, as he tied a career-high with two passing touchdowns.
Phillips finished with a career-high seven receptions for 44 yards, including his first career touchdown. Juergens added 83 yards on five receptions, while Lenstra tied a career-high with three receptions for 30 yards, including his first career touchdown.
Senior Logan Keehner (Guttenberg, Iowa/Clayton Ridge) led the Kohawks with a career-high 10 tackles. Atwater and Youel both finished with eight tackles, a career high for Youel. Senior Diego Rodriquez (Miami, Fla./Archbishop Carroll) and senior Caleb Ferring (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon) both added six tackles. Rodriquez and Schmidt both finished with two tackles for loss, while Ferring had 2.5 for 12 yards.
Coe was able to play the role of spoiler on Saturday, as it was the first homecoming loss for the Beavers since 2006. It was the eighth-straight victory in Storm Lake for the Kohawks, as Coe holds an 8-1 record against the Beavers on their home field.
The 20th-ranked Kohawks (4-0, 1-0 IIAC) return to action next Saturday as they travel to Loras (1-3, 0-1 IIAC). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Rock Bowl. A link for live video, stats and audio can be found on the front page of CoeAthletics.com.