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Cornell and Coe Ready to Resume Football Rivalry

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MOUNT VERNON Cornell had last week's season opener in hand by the 10-minute mark of the second quarter. The Rams led 31-0 and then breathed easy in a 45-14 home win over Lawrence.

The competition cranks up a notch Saturday when the Rams (1-0) visit the nationally-ranked Coe Kohawks (1-0) in the 123rd edition of the oldest college football rivalry west of the Mississippi. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Clark Field in Cedar Rapids.

Coach Vince Brautigam knows it will take four full quarters if his Rams are to come away with their first series win since 1999. The Kohawks, ranked 22nd in the Top 25 Poll, are the preseason favorites to win the Iowa Conference.

"There's something to be said about being the underdog. We're going to embrace the opportunity," Brautigam said. "We have the honor of playing in this game. It's a rivalry for the ages."

Cornell came out clicking on all cylinders last Saturday on the new turf at Ash Park Stadium. The Rams scored on their first four offensive possessions and accumulated 199 total yards in the first quarter. Cornell's defense opened with two three-and-outs and returned an interception for a touchdown on Lawrence's third series.

"We showed signs of maturity and were focused from the first snap. It was a total team effort, especially for the first game out," Brautigam said. "Our offense created the tempo we wanted early on. The defense played hard and ran to the ball well. Our execution overall was pretty good, but we can get better at the little things."

Quarterback Juan Flores had a sterling start to his senior season. He completed 21-of-27 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, while running for 59 yards and another score. Over his last three games, Flores has thrown for 905 yards and 11 TDs.

Brit Connor led the receiving corps with 68 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Sophomore Ethan Thompson rushed for a career-high 81 yards on 11 carries and also scored once.

While Cornell had its way against Lawrence, Coe sweated out a 23-22 road win last weekend over MWC foe Monmouth, which missed two crucial PATs in the game. Coe's defense preserved the victory with a late interception after the Fighting Scots crossed midfield.

The Kohawks ran the ball 55 times for 208 yards. Gage Mohs paced the ground attack with 99 yards and one touchdown.

"Coe is a sound football team and doesn't beat itself," Brautigam said. "They do a very good job executing on both sides of the ball. They are good up front and maintain the line of scrimmage. We have to try to match that. First and foremost, we have to stop their running game."

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