Small College Sports

Coe football records big win over Cornell in rare Sunday game

Kohawks beat Rams for 20th straight time after Saturday's weather postponement

Coe Quarterback Quentin White (17) passes the ball during a football game between Coe College and Cornell College at Clark Field in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, Sep. 15, 2019. (David Harmantas/Freelance)
Coe Quarterback Quentin White (17) passes the ball during a football game between Coe College and Cornell College at Clark Field in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, Sep. 15, 2019. (David Harmantas/Freelance)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Different day. Different time. Same result.

The entire weekend was a bit unusual for Coe football. The upcoming week will stray from the norm just a bit, too.

The Kohawks had to adjust from playing their first night game at home to having it rained out and moved to a rare Sunday game, which is normally a day for junior varsity competition.

All of that causes a short practice week, leading into the American River Conference opener at Loras in Dubuque on Saturday.

“It was weird,” White said. “We come out (Saturday) and are fired up. We get all the way through our warm-up only to go back in (the locker room) and get rained out.

“We’re big on battling adversity and just going out and taking care of business. No matter what day it is. Just coming out to play and balling out together as a team. We did that well today.”

Coe was unfazed by it all when the whistle blew for the 129th meeting with rival Cornell. The Kohawks dominated all three phases of the game, scoring five touchdowns before halftime and coasting to a 38-0 victory over the Rams Sunday at Clark Field.

“I thought we played a really good first half,” Coe Coach Tyler Staker said. “On offense, we moved the ball (and) mixed the run with the pass really well. On defense, we just played really tough. We created some takeaways and a big play on special teams.

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“A win is a win and we’re going to enjoy this. It’s a really quick turnaround because we have Loras come Saturday.”

Coe won its 20th straight game against Cornell, posting its first shutout in the series since 1989 and the largest margin of victory in a shutout since a 40-0 decision in 1911. The Kohawks own a 73-50-4 advantage in the series.

“It means a lot and to the alumni, too,” said Coe defensive back Hunter Semelroth, who was just 1 year old the last time Cornell beat Coe. “It is 20 years and our goal is to keep it going.”

The opening drive helped set the tone. The Kohawks drove 66 yards on 11 plays. Tyler Dralle capped with a 1-yard TD plunge to make it 7-0 with 9:32 left in the first.

The next three scores came from the arm of senior quarterback Quentin White. His first scoring strike connected with 5-foot-9, 240-pound fullback Cody Russell, who was wide open down the seam for a 30-yard TD after linebackers bit on play-action.

White hit his brother, Colton White, for an 8-yard TD pass for a 21-0 lead with 7:20 left in the second quarter. He showed his ability to throw the deep ball, dropping a 40-yard TD pass into the arms of Joshua Bishop, who beat the defender down the middle of the field.

“People were coming down with big plays,” White said. “The touchdown Josh Bishop caught. He is running past the safety. He’s one of the fastest guys on our team. Max Teeple was coming down with big third-down catches, coming down with the ball over the middle when he’s contested. We just have playmakers on our team.”

Quentin finished 20 of 27 for 233 yards, including eight for 88 to Colton. He benefited from plenty of time to throw. The offensive line allowed just one sack for a 3-yard loss.

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“I got touched one time and it was by my own mistake,” White said. “You can chalk that up to one thing and that is the offensive line. I’m sitting back in the pocket three to six seconds every single time. They’re giving me the opportunity to go through my progressions. That is huge.”

The defense stymied Cornell the entire game, helping the Kohawks record a 397-104 edge in total yards. The Rams only managed one first down in the first half with their longest play being 9 yards. Cornell had just four plays for double-digit yards.

“I was pleased with how the defense played,” Staker said. “The (second string) coming in and preserving that shutout, getting that goose egg is big. It’s important for those guys to have that confidence and go out there to perform.”

Coe forced four turnovers in a strong rebound after the loss to Augustana (Ill.). Semelroth had two of the three Coe interceptions, becoming the third Kohawk to have picks in consecutive games against Cornell during the latest win streak. He joined Clint Mersch (2005-06) and Jeremy Squires (2006-07).

“Our goal each week is to get three takeaways,” Semelroth said. “This week was nice to get four. Usually if you get more turnovers it leads to a win.”

The special teams contributed to the onslaught with a touchdown in the second quarter. Eric Aguilar fielded a punt, shed a tackler and followed a convoy of Kohawks for a 56-yard score and 35-0 halftime lead.

Cornell continued to battle and only allowed three points in the second half. The Rams received a learning experience. They have a bye week next that will provide two weeks to heal and improve.

“I’ve got a gritty bunch,” Cornell Coach Vince Brautigam said. “There were just plays we got beat physically and there isn’t a lot you can do about that part of it.

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“I don’t think there was any point where we lied down and said the heck with it. If they keep working this hard, and I know they will, we’re going to be a good football team.”

Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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