Coe stifles Loras offense in conference opener
Coe has had Loras’ number in football for more than a decade. This time, the Duhawks grudgingly surrendered their conference opener to their longtime nemesis.
The Duhawks churned out 444 yards of offense en route to a big 42-14 victory over Benedictine in their home opener on Sept. 21, but they couldn’t reach the 300-yard mark against Coe in Saturday’s game at the Rock Bowl. The Kohawks won, 24-7.
Coe now has defeated Loras 11 out of the past 12 times the two teams have played.
Coe took the early lead and never looked back. With just under six minutes to go in the first quarter, senior quarterback Quentin White found 5-10 senior running back Tyler Dralle for a 13-yard touchdown reception. Junior Tristan Connell booted the extra kick to put Coe up 7-0, finishing off a seven-play drive covering 46 yards.
Coe found the end zone again midway through the second quarter. The Kohawks polished off a nine-play, 74-yard drive when sophomore fullback Cody Russell plowed into the end zone from 5 yards out to boost Coe’s lead to 14-0 with seven minutes left in the half.
The Duhawks answered before halftime with a 68-yard drive that was capped by an electric 14-yard touchdown play. Junior quarterback Noah Sigwarth threw a pass to senior running back Jake Burgmeier, who then did most of the hard work himself. He shaked and baked his way past several defenders and dove into the end zone for six points.
Burgmeier’s effort on the touchdown revved up the crowd and the team, and junior kicker Nicolas Farfan sent the extra point between the pipes, cutting Coe’s lead in half, 14-7, just before halftime.
Any hopes that Loras would have the momentum in the second half, however, were quickly dashed. Coe scored early in the third quarter on a well-executed 26-yard pass from quarterback Quentin White to senior wide receiver Colton White.
The two Whites are twins, conveniently enough. The scoring strike capped the 61-yard drive, pushing the game back up to a two-possession lead, 21-7.
Coe later tacked on a field goal to produce the final margin of victory. Connell’s kick from 25 yards out capped a 62-yard drive.
Despite a 24-7 score, there still was more than seven minutes to play in the third quarter, and a couple of defensive plays gave Loras some hope.
Senior defensive back Brett Matye intercepted a pass to give Loras a chance to mount a drive with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, junior defensive back Jack Foley recorded an interception of his own. Then senior defensive back Brandon Ahgrim created yet another opportunity for the Duhawks by forcing a fumble, and Mayte recovered the loose ball.
But each time Loras got the ball back, the Coe defense was up to the task of holding the Duhawks at bay.
“I’m really pleased with the guys, playing physical and fast, getting after it,” said head coach Steve Helminiak. “Defense made some big hits on the running backs and getting after the quarterbacks.”
Despite the spirited defensive effort, the Duhawks now sit with a 1-2 overall record, and they are 0-1 in conference play.
Next weekend Loras College will be on the road to Pella to take on another American Rivers Conference opponent, Central, on Saturday, Sept. 28.