Coe Shuts Out Washington, Prepares for Conference Slate
By Jeff Johnson, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS – The defense looks ready for the no-margin-for-error rigors of the Iowa Conference. The offense not quite as much.
And here everyone thought it would be the other way around for the Coe Kohawks.
What a dominating display Coe’s defenders put on in a 10-0 win over Washington University of St. Louis on Saturday afternoon at Clark Field. You hold any opponent to 124 yards, and you ought to win.
“We had good play up front, good linebacker play,” said Coe Coach Steve Staker. “I thought our secondary played well, we had a few pass knockdowns, a couple of interceptions. It was just steady defense. We controlled the line of scrimmage, and that’s what we’re trying to do. I don’t think it was anything they haven’t seen before. It was just a good, solid defensive effort by our guys.”
And kind of a head-scratching one offensively.
Coe (3-0) ran 94 plays, the second most in school history, which led to a time of possession advantage of a staggering 25 minutes. Sophomore quarterback Josh Rekers had a solid game in his second college start, coming up just shy of 300 yards passing.
But all the Kohawks could get muster scoreboard-wise was a Gage Mohs 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and Wes Anderson 29-yard field goal in the third.
“I think in film tomorrow, we’ll see a lot of opportunities we missed,” said wide receiver Keaton Juergens, once again Rekers’ favorite target with nine catches. “Just here and there. Not converting on some third downs, some offsides penalties, making some mistakes that we don’t need to make.”
Coe has a veteran offensive line that it expected to ride in the three non-conference games while a new QB was broken in. Sophomore Mark Atwater actually got the start in the opener two weeks ago against Monmouth, but injured his neck and hasn’t dressed for the last two games.
There was more concern about all the graduation losses defensively coming into the season, but that side of the ball has been just fine. Cornell scored a late touchdown last week against reserves in a 42-7 win, and Washington couldn’t even reach midfield after a first-quarter drive that was spoiled by a missed field goal.
Coe’s last shutout was last September against Buena Vista.
“Breaking in some new quarterbacks this year, we have to play well,” said safety Jordan Atwater. “We know they are going to go through some growing pains. Coach Staker always talks about us being the rock that’s always solid. Pretty much getting two shutouts in a row, Cornell scored late last week, we’ve played some pretty good ball with our starters here these last two weeks. We’re happy to be 3-0, that’s for sure.”
Coe has an extra week to get whatever remaining kinks there are straightened out. The Kohawks have a bye this week, then open IIAC play with road games at Buena Vista (Oct. 5) and Loras (Oct. 12).
They know defending their title won’t be easy, but they’re encouraged by what they’ve done the first three weeks.
“We’ve got some guys banged up,” Juergens said. “A couple of weeks will be nice. Everyone is fired up. We got these first three games, but now we’ve got to hand that mindset that we’ve got to perform every game.”
Here are the game stats:
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