INDIANOLA, Iowa – The Simpson football team and head coach Jim Glogowski recently finalized the 2015 schedule, which features four home games in the first six weeks of the season, five home games overall and three non-conference contests.
Key dates on the schedule include the home opener against Wisconsin-River Falls on Saturday, Sept. 5, homecoming against Dubuque on Saturday, Oct. 10 and a Halloween matchup against Central to close the home slate.
New to the schedule in 2015 is Elmhurst. Simpson will face the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) foe Sept. 26 at Buxton Stadium. The meeting with the Blue Jays replaces a two-year series with Iowa Wesleyan and makes two games against CCIW schools in 2015 (Illinois Wesleyan on Sept. 19).
Storm fans can get used to seeing CCIW foes on the schedule for the next few years, as the IIAC and CCIW have agreed to a two-year series beginning in 2016. Opponents are set according to a random draw in two pods, matching the top four teams from the previous year in each league and the bottom four. IIAC schools will serve as the host on Sept. 17, 2016 and the CCIW will host on Sept. 16, 2017.
Conference play opens Oct. 3 against Buena Vista, the first of two straight home games to start the conference slate. After hosting Dubuque for homecoming on Oct. 10, the Storm are on the road for four of their last five games. The home finale is set for Oct. 31 against Central.
Here's a game-by-game look at the 2015 schedule:
WISCONSIN-RIVER FALLS | SEPT. 5
The Falcons went 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the WIAC last season, losing to Simpson 22-6 in Indianola. Simpson will host River Falls for the third straight season after stadium improvements forced last year's game to move to Indianola. The Storm defense forced four turnovers and Walker Holland caught three passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns in last year's win.
AT ILLINOIS WESLEYAN | SEPT. 19
The Titans went 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the CCIW last season, losing to Simpson 13-3 in Indianola. The signature win on the season, the Storm knocked off the No. 21 team in Division III thanks to a punishing rushing game that rolled up 173 yards and a defense that forced three turnovers.
ELMHURST | SEPT. 26
The Blue Jays went 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the CCIW last season. The meeting marks the first between the two teams since 1971, when Simpson beat Elmhurst 12-0 in the only game of the series.
BUENA VISTA | OCT. 3
The Beavers went 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the IIAC last season, beating Simpson in a 38-31 shootout in Storm Lake. Simpson led 14-0 in the second quarter, but BVU scored 31 straight points behind 392 yards and five TDs from quarterback Bobby Brown. Simpson was driving to tie the game in the final minute before an interception at the Beaver 7-yard line cut the drive short.
DUBUQUE | OCT. 10
The Spartans went 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the IIAC last season, beating Simpson 44-10 in Dubuque. Dylan Berkey threw for 140 yards and ran for 59 but Dubuque racked up 487 yards of total offense and Simpson turned it over on downs inside the Dubuque 40 four times.
AT COE | OCT. 17
The Kohawks went 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the IIAC last season, beating Simpson 35-21 in Indianola. Simpson made up a two-TD deficit to tie the game 14-all at halftime but Coe scored 21 straight in the third quarter to pull away. Berkey threw for 190 yards and a touchdown and Holland caught a 55-yard TD pass.
AT LORAS | OCT. 24
The Duhawks went 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the IIAC last season, beating Simpson 27-24 in Indianola. The Storm amassed 468 yards of total offense but Loras scored 17 points off four turnovers.
CENTRAL | OCT. 31
The Dutch went 8-2 overall and finished second in the IIAC with a 6-1 mark last season, beating Simpson 17-0 in Pella. Missed opportunities were the story for the Storm, recovering two fumbles in Central territory without turning either into points. Jordan Beem ran for 79 yards in the loss.
AT WARTBURG | NOV. 7
The Knights went 12-1 overall, running the table with a perfect 7-0 mark in the IIAC. Wartburg earned first- and second-round wins in the playoffs before falling to eventual champion Wisconsin-Whitewater 37-33 in the quarterfinals. Wartburg won last year's meeting 41-10 in Indianola.
AT LUTHER | NOV. 14
The Norse went 5-5 overall and 2-5 in the IIAC last season, beating Simpson 42-35 in the season finale in Indianola. The Storm returned two fumbles for touchdowns against Luther and led by 14 in the fourth quarter before Norse quarterback JJ Sirios led a late comeback. Ethan Calvert ran for two TDs and linebackers Brandon Abernathy and Joe Gilson each scooped up fumbles for TDs for the Storm.