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Football kicks off homestand against Elmhurst

Football kicks off homestand against Elmhurst

Elmhurst (2-0) at Simpson (1-1)

Saturday, Sept. 26 | 1 p.m. | Buxton Stadium

RADIO: KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM

New for the 2015 season, all Storm football games can be heard on KNIA/KRLS out of Knoxville, Iowa. Indianola resident Rick Wilson will have the call on AM 1320 and FM 95.3, with former Simpson defensive line coach Paul Davis providing the color commentary. Fans can also listen online at or on their mobile device by downloading the KNIA app.

Saturday will be a perfect day to enjoy outdoor football at Buxton Stadium. The Weather Channelcalls for partly cloudy skies with a 0-percent chance of rain and highs in the mid-70s. There will be a slight breeze out of the East, just enough to keep you cool.

The Storm ran into a well-oiled machine in Illinois Wesleyan a week ago, giving up more than 500 yards in a 49-7 loss. Simpson hopes the running game that blew past UW-River Falls in week one will help make the setback a distant memory. The defense will have its hands full with an Elmhurst offense that has yet to commit a turnover and features one of the top running backs in the nation in Josh Williams.

Saturday's game between Simpson and Elmhurst marks just the second meeting between the two teams on the gridiron. The only previous meeting came in 1971, when first-year head coach Al Paone led Simpson to a 12-0 win at Elmhurst.

Simpson: Jim Glogowski, eighth season, 34-38 at Simpson, 0-0 vs. Elmhurst
Elmhurst: Ron Planz, second season, 7-5 at Elmhurst, 0-0 vs. Simpson 

Artie Checchin caught a pair of TD passes and Jack Warner threw for 256 yards Illinois Wesleyan beat Simpson 49-7 last Saturday. Checchin caught a 54-yard TD from Warner and hauled in a 36-yarder on a halfback pass to help the Titans (3-0) score 28 unanswered in the first half. Caleb Frye threw a 33-yard TD pass to Devin Norman in the third quarter, the only score of the game for the Storm (1-1). Simpson couldn't get into a rhythm on offense, punting on six of its first seven possessions. Illinois Wesleyan ran for 196 yards as a team and out-gained Simpson 537-205 on the day. Frye finished 5-for-9 for 55 yards passing and Sammy Sasso went 2-for-7 for 16 yards and an INT. Norman made two catches for 38 yards and Jordan Beem carried 19 times for 43 yards. Justin Shepherd led the defense with seven tackles and Isaac Frazier had a sack and forced a fumble.

Elmhurst is out to a 2-0 start after home wins over Loras (31-17) and Hope (13-7) … the Bluejays were idle a week ago … Elmhurst features one of the top running backs in all of Division III in Josh Williams. The 5-10, 185-pound senior is coming off a 243-yard performance in the win over Hope and is averaging 213.5 yards per game, good for second in the nation … Elmhurst has yet to commit a turnover in 2015, and despite his high number of carries, Williams leads the charge. He comes into the week riding a streak of 225 consecutive carries without a fumble, his last turnover coming in Week 4 of 2014 … third-string quarterback Drew Domino is set to make his first career start Saturday. Logan Stelzriede started the season-opener but left with an injury and backup Zach Campbell was injured during the Hope game … Elmhurst's offensive game plan is no secret. The Bluejays have 96 rushing attempts on the year to just 42 passing tries. Of Elmhurst's 138 offensive plays, Williams has touched the ball 59 times – 55 rushes and four catches out of the backfield … after giving up 400 yards in the opener against Loras, the Bluejay defense held Hope to just 286 in week two … led by junior defensive end Myles Carroll (3 sacks, 3 TFLs), the defense has 12 TFLs and 9 sacks on the season.

Since 2012, Simpson has posted an 8-3 record against non-conference opponents. The Storm went 2-1 in 2012 and 2013, 3-0 last season and are 1-1 so far this season.

The play of junior defensive end Isaac Frazier has been a big boost to the Simpson defense in 2015. A two-sport athlete, Frazier saw increased playing time late in the 2014 campaign before experiencing a break out season as a multi-event athlete in track and field. So far this season the 6-4, 220-pounder leads the team in sacks (2.5) and TFLs (4.0).

Drew Jensen improved his career PAT mark to 24-for-24 last week, hitting his one attempt against Illinois Wesleyan. He is now 5-for-5 in 2015, keeping the momentum he built after a school-record tying 19-for-19 effort in 2014.

Sophomore Davey Jergens made a big impression in the first full varsity contest of his career, scoring three touchdown on just seven touches in the season opener against Wis.-River Falls. He caught a 63-yard TD, ran for a 56-yard TD and bowled in from 2-yards out. The 56-yard scamper was the game-winner against the Falcons.

Junior running back Jordan Beem opened the 2015 season with a career-best effort, running for 121 yards on 29 carries in the week one win over Wis.-River Falls, the third 100-yard effort of his career. He leads the team with 164 yards on 48 carries this season.

Simpson has employed a two-quarterback system in 2015, as sophomores Caleb Frye and Sammy Sasso have shared signal-calling duties through the first two games. Frye has been the more consistent of the two, completing better than 58 percent of his passes. Sass has a 63-yard TD toss to his credit and averages 7.2 yards per attempt.

The Storm snapped a forgettable seven-game losing streak by winning the season-opener against Wisconsin-River Falls on Sept. 5. Simpson started the 2014 season 3-0 before a rash of injuries led to an 0-7 finish to the campaign.

Simpson players have already taken home hardware in 2015.

RB Davey Jergens – IIAC Offensive Player of the Week/Male Athlete of the Week [9/6]

The coaches picked Simpson to tie for seventh in the league, according to the IIAC Preseason Coaches' Poll. Simpson and Buena Vista each received 22 votes. Wartburg topped the poll with 56 points, including seven first-place votes. Complete Poll: 1. Wartburg (7), 56; 2. Central (1), 50; 3. Coe, 43; 4. Dubuque, 38; 5. Luther, 26; 6. Loras, 23; t7. Simpson, 22; t7. Buena Vista, 22.

Three Simpson football players were named to the USA College Football D-III Preseason All-America Team prior to the season. Senior Center Corey Meyer was named to the first team, senior offensive lineman Blake Bergstrom earned a spot on the second team and junior running back Jordan Beem landed on the second team as a returner and third team as a running back.

Eighth-year head coach Jim Glogowski tied R.G. "Hap" Miller for second on Simpson's all-time wins list with the Storm's 28-21 win over Wis.-River Falls on Sept. 5 … Glowgoski is now 34-38 since taking over in 2008 … Jim Williams holds the record for wins, going 106-48-1 during his 15-year career from 1987-2001.

Simpson has just two team captains in 2015: wide receiver Nate Connealy and defensive end Clay Finley. Both fifth-year seniors were granted an extra year of eligibility after suffering season-ending injuries early in 2014. Both were team captains a year ago and both have earned all-IIAC accolades in the past. Finley earned second team honors in 2013 while Connealy was an honorable mention pick the same season. 

Storm fall to Illinois Wesleyan
September 19, 2015 Storm fall to Illinois Wesleyan