INDIANOLA, Iowa — Brady Letney and Christian Moore ran for a combined 302 yards, Simpson couldn't capitalize on some costly mistakes and Luther spoiled Simpson's homecoming 24-17 on Saturday at Buxton Stadium.
Letney and Moore provided a one-two punch for Luther's triple option attack, each finding the end zone as the Norse (2-3, 1-2 Iowa Conference) came back from a 14-3 deficit. The quarterback, Letney ran for 159 yards on 27 carries while Moore, the fullback, racked up 143 yards on 6.8 yards per carry.
Luther scored 21 unanswered after a 25-yard TD run by Caleb Frye gave Simpson a 14-3 lead in the first quarter. Andrew Whalen scored a four-yard TD to close the first quarter, Letney ran in from four yards out in the second quarter and Moore had a six-yard score in the third to give Luther a 24-14 lead.
After missing a game due to injury, Jordan Beem ran for 134 yards for the Storm (2-3, 1-2), who ran 21 fewer plays than Luther and held the ball for almost 19 minutes less. Simpson scored TDs on its first two drives but couldn't find the end zone the rest of the way.
Simpson had opportunities despite the lopsided time of possession, but couldn't fully take advantage of Luther miscues.
A blocked field goal by Jake Stearns returned by Ryan Lehr into Luther territory ended in a punt in the second quarter. In the third, Braden Meints recovered a botched punt at the Luther 19, but Simpson could only muster a 22-yard Drew Jensen field goal. Then, Luther punter Cory Wirth couldn't handle a snap in the final seconds, giving Simpson one last chance to tie the game.
Davey Jergens recovered the muffed snap at the 35. Trailing 24-17, Frye ran for a first down then was intercepted by Dante Joseph in the end zone with 17 seconds left. Joseph had two interceptions on the day.
Simpson drove to the Luther 23 midway through the fourth before Beem was stopped short on fourth-and-two after hauling in a pass from Frye on the home sideline. Luther responded with a 12-play drive that chewed up 6:30. Moore and Letney each converted on fourth-and-one to help run the clock down before the mishandled snap gave Simpson a chance.
With the loss, Simpson falls to 32-45-1 against Luther ... freshman safety Brendan Holmes made 22 tackles, four shy of a school record and the most by a Simpson player since Chris Kern set the record with 26 against Luther in 2004 ... with his 134 rushing yards, Beem passed Rex Van Buskirk for fifth all-time at Simpson ... after racking up 154 yards in the first quarter, Simpson managed just 118 in the final three ... the two teams combined for just 98 passing yards on the day - 50 for Luther on one completion and 48 for Simpson on nine completions.
Simpson goes to Wartburg next Saturday, Oct. 15. The Knights (3-2, 2-1) beat Loras 38-30 on Saturday.