The Wartburg Knights Football team fell to 2-2 (1-1) after a heartbreaking 37-34 loss, Saturday afternoon to the Coe Kohawks.
The loss is the second for the Knights this season, marking the first time since 2013 that Wartburg has had two or more losses in the regular season.
The defense struggled throughout much of the game, giving up over 500 yards to the Kohawk offense. Including 257 yards through the air for quarterback Gavin Glenn on only nine completions against the Wartburg secondary.
Four of the completions went to wide receivers Demetrius Harper and Seth Williams, who combined for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns. Both of Harper’s catches came on the final scoring drive and included the eventual game winning touchdown.
Injured defensive captain Rob Rottler spent the game cheering on his teammates and he said there were problems that he noticed on the sideline and will mention them in practice this week.
“We just got to play disciplined and eliminate mistakes. I think we’ll come out, have a great week of practice and we’ll show and be able to get the job done,” Rottler said.
Tony Anstoetter led the team in total tackles with 13.
It was a day for explosive offensive plays for both teams and many came on the first play of a drive. Including the first play of the game for Wartburg that ended in a 64 yard run for senior running back, Jake Haberman.
Junior tight end Collin Werkman caught his first career touchdown on a long 72 yard pass from Matt Sacia, who threw for a career high 379 yards and accounted for 4 total touchdowns. Werkman said that there were several reasons for the offensive success.
“We had a good offensive gameplan throughout and our receivers made plays when their number was called,” Werkman said. “Our quarterback threw great balls and our offensive line protected their butts off.”
Sacia also threw two big interceptions that came at bad moments for the Knights offense. One was picked off and returned for a touchdown by Kohawk defensive lineman Robbie Peters, while the other came with under 30 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter, sealing the game for Coe.
Riley Brockway finished as the team’s leading receiver, finishing with 113 yards on 11 catches, while Jake Haberman led the team in rush yards with 97.
Things may get easier for the Knight moving forward as they return back home for the next two games to Walston-Hoover Stadium where they have not lost since 2013.
Those games will come against the Loras Duhawks (0-5) and the Simpson Storm (2-2) neither of whom the Knights have lost to since the current senior class came to Wartburg.
The loss drops Wartburg into a tie for 3rd place in the conference standings and gives Coe sole possession of 1st place.