Coe College built a 35-14 lead early in the second half before the Buena Vista football team came roaring back, but the comeback fell just short on Saturday, as the Kohawks held on to defeat the Beavers in the season finale for both teams, 35-33.
Cole Miller had another monster game to close out a record-breaking season for the Beavers, as he completed 36-of-54 pass attempts for 460 yards. He sets new single-game records for completions and yards and matched his previous career-high in attempts which is also second in school history. He also matched his career-high with four touchdown passes which he set earlier this season at Loras. His 237 completions and 414 attempts are also new single-season school records, as is his 3,203 yards. His 22 touchdowns were the second-most, as he passes Hall of Famer Rick Wulkow (20).
TJ Lint closed out his stellar career with another standout performance, finishing with eight catches for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His 70 catches his season move him past Gunner Gilland and into second on the program's single-season list while he becomes just the fourth receiver in school history to surpass 1,000 yards in a season. He finishes with 1,048 which is the second-most all-time only behind Gilland's 1,101 set in 2014. His 10 touchdowns are tied for fourth-most. For his career, he also became just the fourth to surpass 2,000 receiving yards as he finishes with 2,303 which is only 11 shy of Hall of Famer Jesse Schmidt (2nd). He's also second in career receptions (157).
Eric Pacheco hauled in a career-high six grabs for a career-high 153 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Oberreuter matched Lint with eight catches for 77 yards. Colby Laughlin was the team's leader rusher with nine carries for 54 yards and one score.
The Kohawks jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on their first play from scrimmage with an 82-yard touchdown with just over 2:00 gone by in the contest. That's how things stood until early in the second quarter. After Nick Amundson intercepted a Coe pass in the endzone, BVU gave the ball right back to the Kohawks as Miller was sacked and fumbled the ball which was recovered at the BVU six yard-line. Two plays later, Coe punched it in from five yards out to take a 14- lead.
Buena Vista then cut the deficit in half four minutes later when Miller and Lint hooked up from 11 yards out with 6:33 left in the half. Coe, however, came right back and threw two more touchdown passes in just a two-minute span to take a 28-7 lead before Pacheco hauled in a 68-yard touchdown with just under a minute to play in the half to make it 28-14 at the break.
Coe (4-6, 2-6 IIAC) began the second half with a six-play, 71-yard scoring drive that was capped by a four-yard touchdown pass and a 35-14 lead.
The Beavers kept chipping away at that lead, getting a 23-yard touchdown run from Laughlin late in the third before Chris Ramirez hauled in a 10-yard touchdown grab early in the fourth to make it a 35-27 contest after the PAT was blocked. Then with 4:05 left ot play in regulation, Miller hooked up with Lint from 52 yards out to make it 35-33. Miller then was intercepted in the endzone on the two-point conversion attempt.
BVU did get one last chance, as it took over at its own 13-yard line with 1:40 left to play. Miller drove the team down field and connected with Lint for 14 yards down to the Kohawk 39-yard line with two seconds left. The Beavers had time for one final play, but Miller was sacked to end the contest.
The two teams combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense. Coe got a balanced effort with 295 yards through the air and 218 yards on the ground while BVU was held to only 50 net yards rushing.
There were four fumbles by each team in the contest resulting in five total turnovers.
Reed Kruse led all players with 13 total tackles for BVU, including 1.5 for a loss.
The Beavers close out the season at 3-7 overall (2-6 IIAC).