116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MOUNT VERNON — Coe’s Carter Maske admits he is his toughest critic.
Maybe a little too critical at times. Like when the sophomore quarterback focused on his five incompletions instead of the 77 percent he completed for 263 yards and two touchdowns.
“Personally, I take those five incompletions a lot harder than I (like) the 17 completions,” Maske said. “There is still a lot to work on. I feel like everyone on our offense knows there is a lot to improve for next week. It was still fun being out here.”
Maske helped the offense to 244 yards, Alphonso Soko added two rushing scores and the Kohawks defense stymied rival Cornell for a 38-7 victory Saturday afternoon on Van Metre Field at Ash Park. The Kohawks extended their longest series win streak to 21 straight games and own a 75-51-4 edge in the series.
“I felt like we executed well on both sides of the ball,” Coe Coach Tyler Staker said. “We took care of it and that was a big emphasis for us.
“When we take care of the ball and put together some good drives, we have a lot of weapons out there.”
Maske is in his first full season as a starter, getting the start in Coe’s lone spring game of a 2020 season that was delayed by the pandemic. He has been waiting for this chance and capitalized, leading the Kohawks to scores on their first three possessions and the first two second-half drives before being relieved by Nick Casey, who added a TD pass to Tre Walker in the fourth.
“I’ve been waiting,” Maske said. “I’ve been looking forward to this. It’s humbling that I get the opportunity to lead these guys on offense. It’s nice to know coaches and players have trust in me.”
Coe built a 17-0 halftime lead. The Kohawks scored on their first three possessions.
Soko made an impact, capping the opening drive that went 60 yards and included a 33-yard pass from Maske to Dominic Shepardson. Soko carried the ball for gains of 16, 7 and 4 with the last giving Coe a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Soko, the former Muscatine all-stater and transfer from Northern Iowa, finished with 71 yards rushing, adding a 2-yard TD run in the opening possession of the second half. Coe pounded the ball for 154 yards, which was more than the Rams’ offensive yardage total (140).
“Our run game was good,” Staker said. “Alphonso did a good job. Our offensive line did a nice job of protecting and blocking up front.”
Coe’s second drive started at its own 3 and stalled at the Cornell 15, resulting in a 22-yard field goal from former Western Dubuque prep Evan Ellis. Maske went 5-for-5 passing for 74 yards to help extend the lead to double digits.
The Kohawks went 74 yards on eight plays. They followed a fumble on first-and-goal from the 5 with a 19-yard TD pass from Maske to Shepardson with 9:10 left before halftime.
“He came out of the backfield and I know he’s going to burn a lot of defenders, so once I see him coming around the corner and a guy is sitting back on him then I know he’s going to fly right past him,” Maske said. “I have trust in Dom right there. There were a few options on that play and he’s always safe.”
Maske completed 11 of 15 passes for 183 yards. Shepardson accounted for 101 of those yards, teaming up for seven catches. Maske added a 21-yard TD pass to Amel Saric with 7:26 remaining in the third, making it 31-0.
“We have a lot of good athletes at receiver and tight end,” Maske said. “They know what they’re doing. They know where they should be. It makes it easier on me when I have to get out of the pocket and adjust.”
Coe’s defense held Cornell to 57 yards rushing and 83 passing. The Kohawks rush disrupted the Rams, tallying three sacks. Cedric Nah led the way with two. The run defense allowed just 1.7 yards per carry.
“Our front seven really showed out today,” Lopez said. “We’re really physical up front and that really opens up holes for us (linebackers).
“Our front seven is really good and we’re excited about it.”
Special teams played well for the Rams. Punter Landon Lockington averaged 40.3 yards per punt with a long of 59, helping with the field-position battle. Trey Gohlmann’s punt block late in the third set up the Rams’ first score.
Cornell fell on the blocked kick at Coe’s 28. Six plays later Isaak Hahn rolled right and hit Mason Davis, who turned up the sideline to finish a 14-yard TD, pulling within 31-7 to start the fourth.
Coe hosts Hope (Mich.) next week at Clark Field. Cornell hosts Beloit (Wis.).