Decorah’s Robby Jewell (No. 20) and Matt Bitz (No. 45, Rochester, Minn.) combine on the tackle. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
After a scoreless first quarter, the No. 14 Coe College football team (9-0, 6-0 IIAC) scored 21 points in the second frame, en route to a 35-7 victory over Luther (0-9, 0-6 IIAC) in Carlson Stadium Saturday.
"I am really proud of how well our team, especially our defense, continued to battle throughout this game," stated Head Coach Mike Durnin. "It is never easy when things are tough, yet this group of young men continue to compete each and every play.
"Coe is an excellent football team in all phases of the game, and when you play against that type of team, you have to be able to match their level of play, and unfortunately we were not able to do this for the entire game. However, if you take away the second quarter, we played very well with them."
Coe had a balanced attack while producing 480 yards of total offense. Running back Brendan Leiran rushed for 135 yards on 32 carries and one touchdown, and Carvin Thompson carried the football nine times for 70 yards and one score. Quarterback Jared McNutt threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns. McNutt connected with Jacob Workman, who led all receivers with six catches, on a 7-yard pass three minutes into the second quarter. Six minutes later he found Colin Ferring out of the backfield on a six-yard score.
Coe's final touchdown of the game was a 23-yard strike from back-up quarterback Mark Atwater to Alex Christenson.
For the Norse, Alex Hain carried the football 17 times for 42 yards. Kody Moore was 16-of-26 for 169 yards, threw one interception and was sacked four times.
Luther's lone score of the ball game was a 23-yard strike from Moore to Decorah's Adam Bohr with 16 seconds left in the game. Bohr finished the game with three receptions for 80 yards.
Matt Bitz and Dustin Hines recorded double-digit tackle totals producing 12 and 11, respectively. Hines also picked off a McNutt pass in the end zone that stopped a 51-yard drive by the Kohawks with a little over a minute left in the first half. Rich Vickers, J.J. Sirios, Colin White, Zac Pearson and James Knutson were all credited with seven. Pearson, Dan Wheelock and Eric Ostlie tallied one sack each.
"Dustin Hines played an outstanding game for our defense, along with Matt Bitz," commented Durnin.
"I am confident our players and coaches will continue to strive to be our best during the final week of the season and know they are looking for another opportunity to prove themselves."
Luther closes the season at Simpson College at 3 p.m. Saturday.