WAVERLY, Iowa – Caleb Frye gained 465 yards of total offense and Simpson nearly erased a 22-point deficit, but Wartburg held on for a 51-45 win after a wild fourth quarter.
Simpson scored 29 points in the fourth quarter behind the arm – and legs – of Frye, who threw for 333 yards and ran for 132 on the day. The Storm (3-6, 2-4 Iowa Conference) trailed 35-16 entering the fourth quarter but pulled within a touchdown three times.
"I think today was a great example of his potential," head coach Jim Glogowski said of his quarterback. "Today he really had some confidence and made some good reads. He's starting to understand things and it's exciting."
The No. 21 Knights (8-1, 5-1) answered each Simpson score, though, recovering two onside kicks in the final 2:20 to seal the win. Quarterback Logan Schrader answered Clark's score with an 88-yard TD run and responded to Connealy's with a 30-yard scoring jaunt.
Frye completed 24 of 42 passes with four TDs and no INTs. Jordan Beem ran for 109 yards and two scores, putting him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He becomes Simpson's first 1,000-yard rusher since Adam Reutzel in 2008 and has now run for 100 yards in six straight games.
"We've had some highs and lows this season, but we need to learn to make that next step," Glogowski said. "That's a very good [Wartburg] team, but we went toe-to-toe with them."
Beem started the game with a 73-yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage. Wartburg responded with 21 straight points on a pair of Brandon Domeyer runs and a 61-yard pass from Schrader to Jordan Schmitt.
Domeyer ran for 171 yards on 21 carries and Schrader ran for 153 and two scores. Schrader went 18-for-31 for 380 yards and three TDs through the air as Wartburg set a school record with 721 yards of total offense.
Frye tossed a 30-yard TD to Clark with 1:09 left in the half to pull Simpson within 21-13, but Schrader led a 76-yard scoring drive that ended with a five-yard TD pass to Mitch Rahm.
Clark made three catches for 72 yards and two TDs and Connealy made eight catches for 88 yards and a score. Safety Justin Shepherd led the defense with seven tackles and an INT.
Saturday, Nov. 14 at Luther, Noon