Central (4-3, 2-2 IIAC) at Simpson (3-4, 2-2 IIAC)
Saturday, Oct. 31 | 1 p.m. | Buxton Stadium
ON THE AIR
New for the 2015 season, all Storm football games can be heard on KNIA/KRLS out of Knoxville, Iowa. Veteran broadcaster Rick Wilson will have the call on AM 1320 and FM 95.3, with former Storm defensive line coach Paul Davis providing the color commentary. Fans can also listen online at www.kniakrls.com or on their mobile device by downloading the KNIA app.
The Weather Channel calls for a 60-percent chance of morning showers that will subside in the afternoon to cloudy skies and a high of 57 degrees. Winds will blow out of the South at 9 mph. Make sure to bundle up, as temperatures will drop into the 40s later in the afternoon.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
The Iowa Conference's leading rusher in league play Jordan Beem faces his biggest test of the year in Central's top-ranked rush defense. Beem comes in with four-straight games of 100-or-more yards while the Dutch defense allows just 128.3 yards on the ground per game. Ball control will be key as Central boasts an eye-popping +13 turnover margin. Simpson's defense showed what it's capable of by shutting down a high-powered Loras offense for three quarters last Saturday. This week Isaac Frazier and company will try to keep Central out of the red zone, where the Dutch have scored on 23 of 26 chances.
Simpson and Central meet for the 93rd time in a rivalry that dates back to 1905 ... Central leads the all-time series 63-26-3 and is 29-11-2 against Simpson in Indianola ... Simpson had won two in a row in the series before last year's 17-0 loss in Pella.
THE STORM ON HALLOWEEN
Simpson will play for the 14th time on Halloween, going 7-5-1 in 13 previous matchups. The Storm have won their last three on Oct. 31, most recently a 17-16 win over Cornell in 2009. Before that, Simpson beat Loras 41-7 in 1998 and Upper Iowa 21-7 in 1987. Simpson is 4-1 at home but 0-2 against Central. Central won 23-0 in Pella in 1981 and 15-14 in Indianola in 1953.
Simpson: Jim Glogowski, eighth season, 36-41 at Simpson, 3-4 vs. Central
Central: Jeff McMartin, 12th season, 91-32 at Central, 8-3 vs. Simpson
LAST TIME OUT
Simpson's defense held the nation's No. 2 offense in check for 55 minutes before Loras got a few big plays in a 27-9 Storm loss. Nolan Baumhover threw the go-ahead TD pass to Nate Even early in the fourth quarter and Nate Minch broke an 86-yard TD run after Cole Martin was stopped short on fourth-and-1 from the 6. The defense held Loras 129 yards below its season average and created four turnovers, but the offense couldn't find the endzone. Isaac Frazier led the defense with 3.0 sacks and two forced fumbles and Jordan Beem ran for 125 yards on 34 carries, extending his streak of consecutive 100-yard games to four. Drew Jensen made all three FG attempts, including a career-long 45-yarder that gave Simpson a 9-6 lead with 13:49 to play.
QUOTES FROM COACH GLO
On the loss to Loras: "We did some good things in that game. We got to the quarterback and forced some turnovers, but the downside is we missed some opportunities to make some more big plays on defense. Offensively, we came up short a few times on fourth down and that was the story of the game."
On the importance of Saturday's game: "It's moving day in the Iowa Conference. This is a chance for us to stay near the top of the league."
On the Simpson/Central rivalry: "We saw some of their players during the recruiting process. We play them twice during the JV season. There is a lot of familiarity.
"This is our Iowa/Iowa State. This is our big rivarly and we're looking forward to it."
SCOUTING THE DUTCH
Central has won 2 of 3 after beating Coe 27-13 at home last Saturday ... the strength of the team lies in a swarming defense that has generated a league-high 18 turnovers. Zach Matter and Cael Halfman have combined for seven INTs on the year, led by Matter's IIAC-best four ... Central has shined the brightest when the ball is inside the 20s, as the Dutch boast the league's top red zone offense and defense. Offensively, Central has converted 23 of 26 chances into points, including 21 TDs. Defensively they have given up just 15 scores in 23 chances ... the Brothers Gray lead the Central offense, with Riley playing the part of the dual-threat quarterback and Pat holding down the running back duties. Riley has thrown for 1,239 yards and 12 TDs and rushed for 228 and six scores. Pat leads the team with 397 yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Dynamic receiver Sam Markham ranks second in the IIAC in receptions, coming in wth 52 catches for 726 yards and seven TDs.
STORM IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Simpson ranks in the top 50 in Divison III in a number of team and individual categories, including:
|Fewest Penalty Yards per Game||11th||36.29|
|Sacks Allowed per Game||13th||0.71|
|Fewest Penalty Yards||14th||254|
|Fewest Penalties per Game||16th||4.29|
|3rd Down Conversion Pct.||50th||44.2|
|All-Purpose Yards per Game||Jordan Beem||48th||144.71|
|Field Goal Percentage||Drew Jensen||27th||75.0|
|Field Goals per Game||Drew Jensen||37th||0.86|
|Forced Fumbles per Game||Isaac Frazier||9th||0.43|
|Fumbles Recovered||Clay Finley||19th||2|
|Rushing Yards||Jordan Beem||37th||805|
|Rushing Yards per Game||Jordan Beem||40th||115.0|
|Sacks per Game||Isaac Frazier||24th||1.00|
SOLID UP FRONT
Coming into the season, the strength of the Storm football team on paper looked to be the offensive line. After seven games, that prediction has been spot-on. Simpson has allowed just five sacks this season, the fewest in the Iowa Conference and the 13th-fewest in Division III. The line has also paved the way for one of the top rushing attacks in the IIAC at 177.7 ypg, second only to Luther's triple-option attack.
FRYE MAKING STRIDES
Sophomore quarterback Caleb Frye is settling into his starting role. Splitting time with Sammy Sasso through the first three weeks of the season, Frye threw for just 263 yards and completed 52 percent of his passes. In the four games since, Frye has thrown for 705 yards and completed 58.3-percent of his passes. He has five TDs and four INTs during that time and set career-highs in completions (20) and yards (275) in the week six loss to Dubuque.
DISRUPTING THE PASSER
No team in the Iowa Conference gets after opposing quarterbacks with more frequency than Simpson. Led by junior defensive end Isaac Frazier, the Storm come into Saturday's game tied for the conference lead with 16 sacks. Frazier - also a multi-event athlete on the track and field team - leads the league in sacks (7.0), TFLs (10.0) and forced fumbles (3).
Frazier's counterpart on the opposite end of the line, Clay Finley, has 4.0 sacks, 6.0 TFLs, 2 forced fumbles and an interception, making the tandem one of the most feared in the IIAC.
JENSEN STRENGTHENS KICKING GAME
Sophomore placekicker Drew Jensen is becoming an effective weapon for the Storm offense. The reining IIAC Special Teams Player of the Week made all three FG attempts against Loras, including a career-long 45-yarder in the fourth quarter. That kick is the longest by an IIAC player this season and is the longest by a Simpson player since 2010.
Though he's missed two extra points this season, Jensen is 6 of 8 on field goal attempts and 2-for-3 from 40 yards and out.
BEEM ME UP, JORDAN
Junior running back Jordan Beem has rushed for over 100 yards in five of seven games in 2015, including in each of the last four weeks. He ran for 121 yards against Wis.-River Falls in the opener before struggling against Illinois Wesleyan and Elmhurst, combining for just 68 yards in back-to-back weeks. Since then he's been the most productive back in the league, averaging an IIAC-best 155.2 yards per game against conference competition.
Beem vs. the IIAC: Buena Vista - 184 yds, 2 TDs; Dubuque - 119 yds, 2 TDs; Coe - 193 yds, 2 TDs; Loras - 125 yds, 0 TD.
SNAPPING THE STREAK
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 a 0-7 finish to the campaign. Now, Simpson is looking for its first Iowa Conference win since Nov. 16, 2013.
Simpson players have taken home four IIAC weekly accolades in 2015:
RB Davey Jergens – IIAC Offensive Player of the Week/Male Athlete of the Week [9/6]
RB Jordan Beem – IIAC Offensive Player of the Week [10/4]
P Braden Meints - IIAC Special Teams Player of the Week [10/18]
PK Drew Jensen - IIAC Special Teams Player of the Week [10/25]
IIAC PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
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.
GLOGOWSKI CLIMBS WINS LIST
Eighth-year head coach Jim Glogowski passed R.G. "Hap" Miller for second on Simpson's all-time wins list with the Storm's 43-13 win over Buena Vista on Oct. 3 … Glowgoski is now 36-41 since taking over in 2008 … Jim Williams holds the record for career 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.