DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Simpson defense held the nation's top passing attack in check for three quarters, but a few big plays made the difference on Saturday.
Nolan Baumhover threw the go-ahead TD pass to Nate Even early in the fourth quarter and Loras pulled away for a 27-9 win, though the score wasn't an accurate indication of how the game played out.
Simpson took a 9-6 lead on a 45-yard Drew Jensen field goal with 13:49 left before Baumhover connected with Even on a 40-yard strike. Simpson drove to the Loras 6 on the next possession before Cole Martin was stopped short on fourth-and-1.
Two players later, Nate Minch broke an 86-yard TD run to give Loras a 20-9 lead with 5:05 to play.
"We mis-fit one play and that's how quickly it can go from good to bad," head coach Jim Glogowski said.
A week removed from a 434-yard, eight TD performance against Central, Baumhover threw for 280 yards, two TDs and two INTs against a swarming defense that kept Simpson in the game until the final minutes. Minch ran 23 times for 202 yards and two TDs and Even caught seven passes for 95 yards and two scores as the Duhawks (4-3, 3-1) won their third game in a row.
"There are a lot of positives we can take from this game, but it is frustrating to give up 21 points in the final 10 minutes after giving up 6 in the first three quarters," Glogowski said.
Jordan Beem ran for 125 yards on 34 carries for the Storm (3-4, 2-2 Iowa Conference), giving the junior four-straight games with at least 100 yards. Caleb Frye went 11-for-28 for 134 yards and an INT and Jensen made all three field goal attempts, including his career-long 45-yarder.
Simpson's defense held the nation's No. 2 offense 129 yards and 13 points below its average, thanks in large part to the play of the defensive line. Defensive end Isaac Frazier sacked Baumhover three times and forced two fumbles while Clay Finley recovered a fumble and intercepted a screen pass.
"Isaac had a fantastic game," Glogowski said. "I thought we could get to the quarterback and we did."
Backup cornerbacks Prince Krah and Brandt Seward got the start for Simpson, as Reid Ryan was out and Patrick Steffen played despite being banged up. Steffen came up with an interception at the end of the first half.
Simpson trailed 6-3 at halftime but drove 47 yards in 13 plays after a 44-yard kickoff return by Davey Jergens, settling for a 19-yard Jensen field goal after failing to score from first-and-goal at the 3.
The Storm took the lead after Frazier sacked and stripped Baumhover late in the fourth quarter. A personal foul penalty slowed the ensuing drive, but a Loras penalty helped move the ball up for Jensen's career-long field goal attempt.
Oct. 31 vs. Central (4-3, 2-2 IIAC)