116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The “Wheel Of Quarterbacks” went around and around again this week for the Coe College football team and ultimately landed on Carter Maske.
It won’t turn next week since the Kohawks don’t play. But when they get back at it Oct. 8, the best guess is the thing will once more stop on the junior from Waterloo West.
He’s probably got a couple extra free spins to work with, too.
Maske completed 13 of 17 throws for 186 yards and three second-quarter touchdowns. Perhaps more importantly, he didn’t throw any interceptions.
Picks have been an issue. Kohawks QBs had thrown eight of them in their first three games, six in a loss a couple of weeks ago at Hope (Mich.).
But this was his game.
“It’s never fun not playing,” he said. “We come to school here to play football. But, I mean, Nick and Matt are tremendous dudes, and they know the offense just as well as anybody. We all work our butts off, so they deserved their shot. It just happened to come around here (to me), and I tried to take advantage of it.”
“It was razor thin, as far as margins go. We just kind of gave the nod to those two guys (Casey and Walton),” Staker said. “But I’m really proud of Carter. He goes from starting the first half of 2021 to having to take a step back and view it on the sideline for a while. He got his opportunity today and just played lights out.”
Coe (3-1, 2-0 in the American Rivers Conference) broke open this game with six consecutive touchdowns in the second and third quarters. That included the three Maske TD passes: two to Zamari Bruce, the other to the ever-reliable Dominic Shepardson.
A speedy 6-foot-3 freshman from Spring, Texas, Bruce has the makings of being a “dude” in his college career. Coe’s had some of those from the Lone Star state over the years, the most notable being former NFL player Fred Jackson.
“Honestly, it just feels good to have the support of my teammates,” Bruce said. “And everybody believing in me as a freshman, to have the opportunity to go out there and be trusted by my quarterback to throw me the ball for some touchdowns.”
“I don’t know how we got a guy like that,” Maske said. “He’s going to be a stud. We honestly haven’t gotten him that involved in the offense that much this year. It was good to see him run past DBs like it was nothing. A track athlete and the size that he has, along with his athleticism, it’s rare at this level.”
LaDainian Linnear took the second-half kickoff back 94 yards for a touchdown and a 35-3 Coe lead. That’s believed to be the first kickoff return for score for the school since the aforementioned Jackson had one in 2002.
Two short TD runs by Ray Seidel (on his birthday) followed.
Coe’s 3-4 defense has a plethora of quickness, which also was on full display. Simpson quarterback J Jensen III faced all kinds of pressure from the Kohawks and was sacked six times, twice by linebacker Jay Oostendorp.
Simpson is 0-3. Loras stunned preseason ARC favorite Central last week, perhaps meaning the door is open for a team like Coe to make a run at the league championship.
For the first time in seemingly years, the Kohawks don’t have to play perennial conference powers Central and Wartburg in back-to-back weeks. That’s a plus.
Now if the quarterback situation is solidified ...
“I was happy with this win,” Staker said. “We needed this. Offensively, we played really well against Cornell in the season opener, then had two games where we just kind of struggled to move the ball. I thought Carter Maske played great. He did a good job of identifying coverage and putting the ball in our receivers’ hands. Then we had explosive plays in the pass game, and that was big for us.”
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