MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa – Dylan Berkey waited three years to get his first start under center for the Simpson football team.
If Saturday was any indication of what's to come, the wait was worth it.
Berkey ran for three touchdowns, threw another and played mistake-free football as Simpson beat Iowa Wesleyan 43-7 in the season opener on Saturday.
All three of Berkey's rushing touchdowns came in a 24-point second quarter for the Storm (1-0), who were in a scoreless tie with Iowa Wesleyan after the first quarter. He ran for scores of 1, 7 and 11 yards.
The senior – who served as 2013 Iowa Conference Offensive MVP Taylor Nelson's backup for the past three seasons – got the job done through the air as well, completing 20 of 30 passes for 228 yards. His top target, Corbin Clark, was on the receiving end of a picture-perfect 31-yard touchdown strike near the end of the third quarter.
Ethan Calvert led a balanced rushing attack with 107 yards, most of which came on a 37-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth.
Defensively, Clay Finley set up shop in the Iowa Wesleyan backfield. The senior had two tackles for loss, a sack and forced a fumble to lead a defensive unit that allowed under 200 yards of total offense.
Klein also made field goals of 25 and 29 yards and went a perfect 4-for-4 on extra points.
Backup quarterback Zandro Diaz finished with 93 yards on 10 of 16 passing for the Tigers (0-1), leading the lone scoring drive of the day when he found Raul Becemi on a 31-yard score late in the fourth.
Game Notes: Simpson hosts UW-River Falls in the home opener next Saturday ... Simpson also beat Iowa Wesleyan in last year's opener, 55-21 ... seventh-year head coach Jim Glogowski moved above the .500 mark for his career with the win, improving to 31-30 ... coming into Saturday's game, Dylan Berkey had completed 5 of 6 passes for 33 yards in relief duty over the past three seasons.