CEDAR RAPIDS — The conditions were not conducive for clean football.
Cold temperatures mixed with a persistent rain that made snaps, catches and even holding the ball a challenge. Despite the elements, Coe wasn’t going to let them put a damper on Senior Day.
In a game turned sloppy at times, Quentin White hit his brother, Colton White, for his fifth touchdown pass of the game with 2:30 remaining and A.J. Christensen ended Loras’ last drive with an interception, securing Coe’s 34-33 victory in American Rivers Conference action Saturday at Clark Field.
The Kohawks (5-4, 4-3) recorded their second straight victory and this one made the conditions a little more bearable.
“It just feels good,” Quentin White said. “I love these guys. On Senior Day, too, where we get to go out there and play for the seniors it just feels really good. It makes it (the weather) feel better.”
The circumstances made an impact, contributing to seven total turnovers — five from Loras and two from Coe. None were bigger than with the Kohawks down one with less than four minutes remaining. A punt snap was off the mark, leading to a 26-yard loss in the scramble and Coe taking over at the Loras 15 with 3:47 left.
Four plays later, the White brothers hooked up for a 10-yard score on fourth-and-5.
“That was a little bit of a high throw,” Coe Tyler Staker said. “In these circumstances and for him to secure it, see it all the way into his hands and end up scoring that was an unbelievable catch.”
Quentin White said the Kohawks tried to take advantage of mismatches in Loras’ man-to-man coverage during the game. They expected the same defense and ran the same play Trevor Noble was able to break for a 53-yard TD, pulling Coe within 19-14 at halftime.
He was ready when his brother broke open.
“I got time and just put it on him,” Quentin White said. “It was a good play call. We knew when we got down in the red zone that they were going to play man (coverage) and try to eat us up. We got the ball off quick and it worked out for us.”
Quentin White finished with 188 yards and five TDs, connecting with Matt Kopp for two and a 28-yard score to Max Teeple. The five passing TDs is tied for second in a game at Coe and the most since Joe Brannen in 2003.
“Our guys made plays all day,” Quentin White said. “It’s raining and we’re still out here throwing to win the game.”
Coe also transformed a fumble by Loras quarterback Noah Sigwarth into its first lead of the game with 3:48 left in the third. The Kohawks drove 37 yards on six plays, capping it with Quentin White’s 13-yard TD strike to Kopp for a 27-25 edge.
“It was a crazy game,” Staker said. “With the weather the way it was, the ball started to get wet and you saw that ball popping out more and more.
“Obviously, we were able to take advantage of that snap going over the punter’s head.”
Loras actually led more than 51 of the 60-minute contest. The Duhawks opened with a 12-0 lead less than three minutes into the game on a Sigwarth TD pass to Trey Simmons and a 5-yard TD rush. An odd recovered pooch kick to open the second half led to Cody Mighell’s touchdown run and Elijah Thomas’ 49-yard punt return for a score gave Loras a 33-27 lead with 12:39 to play.
“Our guys kept fighting,” Staker said. “That’s why you never throw in the towel. You keep fighting in those games, because you never know how things are going to play out.”
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Staker said he was happy to record a victory in the seniors’ final home game. He seemed more relieved after the game, but was emotional meeting with the seniors before the game.
“I always bring the seniors in before we go out and have a talk with them in the locker room,” Staker said. “That always chokes me up. It’s hard to see these guys move on. You spend so much time with them. They become family. They’re an extension of my family. They become sons, so these moments are really tough. You’re never really prepared for them. It feels good when you can send them out on a good note.”
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