PELLA, Iowa – Simpson ran 15 more plays and created two turnovers but couldn't cross the goal line in a 17-0 loss at Central on Saturday.
Aaron Eiseler threw for 249 yards and Brendon Boerm put the game away with a long TD run in the third quarter for the Dutch (6-2, 4-1 Iowa Conference), who snapped a two-game losing streak in the series.
"We gave ourselves a chance to win the game," head coach Jim Glogowski said. "The bottom line is, we missed some key opportunities."
Boerm had only two rushes on the afternoon, but the second went for a 47-yard TD to give Central a 14-0 lead with 13:26 to play in the third quarter.
Central's stout running game didn't do much outside Boerm's big run, as the Simpson defense gave up just 110 yards on the ground. The league's second-leading rusher, Josh Osborn, had just 63 yards rushing, breaking a streak of eight games with at least 100 yards.
Eiseler completed 20 of 32 passes and threw a 4-yard TD pass to Sam Markham in the second quarter. Kevin Sheldon added a 34-yard field goal in the game's closing minutes.
"The kids played hard and battled," Glogowski said. "We failed to convert on a couple of scoring opportunities that could have changed the outcome."
Simpson recovered two fumbles in Central territory but couldn't turn either into points. The first came on a muffed punt in the first quarter when Simpson turned it over on downs at the Central 13. The next came in the fourth quarter when Simpson drove all the way to the Central 6 before coming up inches short on 4th-down.
Jordan Beem ran for 79 yards to lead the Storm (3-5, 0-5), who ran 72 plays to Central's 57.
Banged up from an injury sustained two weeks ago, quarterback Dylan Berkey threw for 87 yards and ran for 47.
The loss is the fifth in a row for a Simpson team that started out 3-0.
"Five in a row is tough no matter how you slice it," Glogowski said.
Simpson punted a season-high seven times, watching five drives stall inside Central territory. Alex Severn made a team-high eight tackles and Joe Gilson made five with a forced fumble and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Simpson hosts No. 6 Wartburg on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. The Knights (8-0, 5-0) beat Buena Vista 43-24 on Saturday to claim sole possession of first place in the conference.