DECORAH, Iowa – Jordan Beem put an exclamation point on an already impressive junior season, leading the Simpson football team to a 42-28 win over Luther in the season finale Saturday.
Beem ran for a career-high 211 yards and three TDs, scoring on back-to-back plays from scrimmage in the third quarter to help the Storm (4-6, 3-4 Iowa Conference) snap a three-game losing streak. He scored on runs 52, 12 and 24 yards.
Luther trailed by a touchdown in the third quarter when quarterback Brady Letney tied it 21-all on a 3-yard TD run. Beem responded with a 12-yard score, closing an eight-play, 59-yard drive to put Simpson ahead 27-21 after a failed extra point.
The game took a turn when Luther couldn't handle Travis Tupper's ensuing kickoff. Simpson recovered the fumble and Beem ran 24 yards for a TD on the next play for a comfortable 34-21 lead.
Caleb Frye completed 11 of 18 passes for 135 yards and three TDs, closing the season with seven TDs and zero INTs in the last two games. He threw scoring strikes to Sam Bartlett, Corbin Clark and Nathan Russell.
Letney paced the option attack for the Norse (4-6, 2-5), rushing for 99 yards and two TDs. Christian Moore ran for 90 yards and Cooper Nelson 81.
Nelson's 27-yard run set up a 4-yard Jon Cochrane TD reception, giving Luther a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The lead didn't last long, as Beem was in the endzone three plays later with a 52-yard run.
One play after stopping Luther on fourth down, Frye tossed a 31-yard TD to Bartlett for a 14-7 lead in the second quarter. Simpson led the rest of the way, keeping Luther at arm's length the remainder of the contest.
Luther pulled within 34-28 on a 1-yard Letney score in the fourth quarter, but Frye responded with a 27-yard TD pass to Nathan Russell on fourth down. Luther's next drive stalled on a fourth-down sack by Jake Stearns.
KEY STAT - Luther ran 18 more plays and held the ball for more than 38 minutes, but Simpson averaged 7.2 yards per play compared to 5.5 for Luther.
IT WAS OVER WHEN - Stearns sacked Letney on 4th-and-five from the Simpson 20 with 6:03 to play. Simpson led 42-28 at the time but Luther was threatening to stay in the game before Stearns sacked - and stripped - the Norse quarterback.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS - Beem finished the season with an IIAC-high 1,254 yards, the seventh most in a season in Simpson history. He is just the fourth Simpson running back to reach 1,000 yards in a season since 2000.