PREVIEW: Upset-minded Storm look to knock off Knights

PREVIEW: Upset-minded Storm look to knock off Knights

Simpson (3-5, 2-3 IIAC) at Wartburg (7-1, 4-1 IIAC)

Saturday, Nov. 7 | 1 p.m. | Walston-Hoover Stadium

LIVE COVERAGE
RADIO: KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM
RADIO WEBCAST: www.kniakrls.com
LIVE VIDEO: www.wartburg.edu/knightvision
LIVE STATS: www.go-knight.net

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 Simpson senior Brock Borgeson providing the color commentary. Fans can also listen online at www.kniakrls.com or on their mobile device by downloading the KNIA app.

WEATHER FORECAST
The Weather Channel calls for sunny skies and a high of 51 degrees. Winds will be out of the West at 10-20 mph.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Isaac Frazier and the Simpson defense goes up against one of the Iowa Conference's most versatile quarterbacks in Logan Schrader. Running back Jordan Beem's quest to reach 1,000 yards runs through the conference's stingiest defense, as the Knights allow less than 20 points per game.

SERIES HISTORY
Simpson and Wartburg meet for the 71st time in a series that dates back to 1944 ... Wartburg leads the all-time series 42-26-2 and is 21-14-1 against Simpson in Waverly ... the teams split the previous four meetings, with Simpson winning in 2011 and 2012 and Wartburg winning the last two seasons, including a 41-10 win at Buxton Stadium in 2014.

THE COACHES
Simpson: Jim Glogowski, eighth season, 36-42 at Simpson, 2-5 vs. Wartburg
Wartburg: Rick Willis, 17th season, 147-36 at Wartburg, 14-2 vs. Simpson

LAST TIME OUT
Kyle Gritsch scored from 1-yard out with 1:49 left and Caleb Frye's desperation pass on fourth down was intercepted as Central scored 17-unanswered to beat Simpson football team 31-24 last Saturday. Simpson trailed by two touchdowns early, but rattled off 24 straight to take a 24-14 lead with 6:21 left in the third when Jordan Beem scored from a yard out, his second TD of the game.

Beem ran for 124 yards on 20 carries, giving the junior five-straight 100-yard games. He rattled off 90 yards in the second half after being held in check in the first.

Frye threw a second quarter TD pass to Jackson RedmondDrew Jensen made a 41-yard field goal at the end of the first half and Beem broke loose for a 73-yard score to give the Storm (3-5, 2-3 Iowa Conference) a 10-point lead.

A 14-yard run by Adam Lindell with 1:52 left in the third bought the Dutch (5-3, 3-2) within 24-21. Aaron Marcellus tied it up with a 32-yard field goal. Backup quarterback Nate Boland threw for 274 yards and two TDs and rushed for 73 in his first career start to lead the Central offense. Sam Markham was his favorite target, catching nine passes for 141 yards.

QUOTES FROM COACH GLO
On the loss to Central: "In the fourth quarter we couldn't flip the field position. We found ourselves stuck on our own end and that consequently led to Central getting some short fields until they popped a long run."

On Wartburg: "They are a confident group. They have that sense that they are going to win the game, which helps them handle themselves better and make fewer mental mistakes."

On the keys to victory: "Getting out to a fast start will be critical for both teams. We have to do a great job of slowing them down and hopefully get some points on the board. The idea this week is to not settle for field goals and hopefully get the ball in the endzone.

SCOUTING THE KNIGHTS
Wartburg suffered its first loss of the season on Oct. 17, a humbling 45-13 setback against Iowa Conference-leading Dubuque. Since then, the Knights have taken out their frustration on Luther and Buena Vista, beating the Norse 47-7 and the Beavers 55-0. QB Logan Schrader has been nearly perfect in the last two games, throwing for 632 yards, five TDs and 1 INT while completing 88 percent of his passes. The defense has been stingy too, allowing just 253.5 yards per game, including just 190 against Luther. 

Schrader's top target is Robbie Anstoetter, who has 45 receptions for 763 yards and four TDs. Linebacker Gunner Tranel leads the defense with 9.4 tackles per game, incluing 9.0 TFLs. The defense allows an IIAC-best 19.1 points per game.

STORM IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Simpson ranks in the top 50 in Divison III in a number of team and individual categories, including:

Team
Fewest Penalty Yards per Game 21st 39.88
Sacks Allowed per Game 43rd 1.13
Fewest Penalty Yards 25th 319
Fewest Penalties per Game 20th 4.50
Fewest Penalties 22nd 36
Fumbles Recovered 15th 11
Time of Possession 44th 32:08

 

Individual
All-Purpose Yards per Game Jordan Beem 47th 144.38
Field Goal Percentage Drew Jensen 20th 0.778
Field Goals per Game Drew Jensen 29th 0.88
Forced Fumbles per Game Isaac Frazier 11th 0.38
  Chris McKinnon 36th 0.33
Fumbles Recovered Clay Finley 25th 2
  Zach Rathman 25th 2
Rushing Yards Jordan Beem 33rd 934
Rushing Yards per Game Jordan Beem 36th 116.1
Sacks per Game Isaac Frazier 23rd 1.00

 

THREE NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM
Junior running back Jordan Beem, senior offensive lineman Blake Bergstrom and senior defensive end Clay Finley were named to the 29-member Academic All-Distirct 8 First Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Beem takes home the honor for the first time while Bergstrom and Finley become two-time honorees. As first team selections, the trio will advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.

BEEM CLOSES IN ON 1,000 YARDS
Junior running back Jordan Beem is on pace to become Simpson's first 1,000-yard rusher in seven years. Beem comes into Saturday's game with 934 rushing yards, needing just 66 yards to become the first Storm running back to reach 1,000 yards since Adam Reutzel in 2008.

Beem has rushed for over 100 yards in six of eight games in 2015, including in each of the last five 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 149.0 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 TDs; Central - 124 yds, 2 TDs.

SOLID UP FRONT
Coming into the season, the strength of the Storm football team on paper looked to be the offensive line. After eight games, that prediction has been spot-on. Simpson has allowed just nine sacks this season, the second-fewest in the Iowa Conference and the 43rd-fewest in Division III. The line has also paved the way for one of the top rushing attacks in the IIAC at 176.8 ypg, second only to Luther's 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 five games since, Frye has thrown for 929 yards and completed 56.2-percent of his passes. He has six TDs and five INTs during that time and set career-highs in completions (20) and yards (275) in the week six loss to Dubuque.

DISRUPTING THE PASSER
Led by junior defensive end Isaac Frazier, the Storm come into Saturday's game second in the conference with 19 sacks. Frazier - also a multi-event athlete on the track and field team - leads the league in sacks (8.0), TFLs (11.5) and forced fumbles (3).

Frazier's counterpart on the opposite end of the line, Clay Finley, has 4.5 sacks, 7.0 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 IIAC Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 25 has made his last four FGs, including two from 40-plus yards. He 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 7 of 9 on field goal attempts and 3-for-4 from 40 yards and out.

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.

STORM ACCOLADES
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.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
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 36-42 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.

TEAM CAPTAINS
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