INDIANOLA, Iowa — The Simpson football team looks to get back on the winning track Saturday when it travels to Waverly, Iowa to face the Wartburg Knights at 1:30 p.m. for homecoming at Walston-Hoover Stadium. The game will air on KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and online at KNIAKRLS.com.
The Storm (2-3, 1-2 Iowa Conference) suffered a 24-17 setback against Luther in last week's home opener. The Knights (3-2, 2-1) beat Loras in 38-30 at home.
Simpson and Wartburg are meeting for the 72nd time in a series dating back to 1944. Wartburg leads the all-time series 43-26-2 and has won the last three games, including a wild 51-45 contest last season. Wartburg has won 16 of the last 18 games, with the Storm getting one-point wins in 2011 (38-37) and 2012 (20-19).
ON THE AIR
Back again this season, all Simpson football games can be heard on KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and online at KNIAKRLS.com. You can also download the KNIA app on iTunes and Google's Play Store. Andrew Swadner will have the call with Rick Wilson providing the color commentary.
"Wartburg is a big-play team. Whether it's a 65-yard pass or a 42-yard run, they are trying to get big plays. Those are big momentum plays, and we can't allow those to happen." — Head coach, Matt Jeter
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Wartburg rolled up a school-record 751 yards of total offense in last year's meeting, a 51-45 Knights win. Simpson wasn't too shabby either, racking up a season-high 567 yards of total offense in the loss. Caleb Frye accounted for 465 of those yards, throwing for 333 and running for 132.
• The Knights own the No. 1 defense in the IIAC, allowing just 367 yards per game. Wartburg has created 12 turnovers, intercepting seven passes and recovering five fumbles. As a team, Wartburg is plus-four in the turnover department while Simpson is minus-four.
• Senior running back Jordan Beem moved into fifth place on Simpson's all-time rushing list last week. Beem currently has 2,711 career rushing yards and is averaging 114.8 yards per game in 2016, third in the IIAC. His next career milestone would put him in rarified air, as only four other Simpson running backs have reached 3,000 rushing yards — Adam Reitzel (3,858 yards from 2005-08), Ricky Gales (3,326 yards from 1988-89), Guy Leman (3,291 yards from 1995-98) and Trent Nauholz (3,213 yards from 1989-93).
• Braden Meints has turned into a jack-of-all trades for the Storm. As a sophomore in 2015, Meints was the team's primary punter while also serving on special teams and lining up as a wide receiver. He is expanding his role even more in 2016, lining up as a tight end, wide receiver, fullback and tailback. He leads the team with four TDs -- three rushing and one receiving -- and has found the endzone in three of five games. He also leads the team with four tackles on special teams.
• Freshman safety Brendan Holmes is trending up after making 22 tackles in last week's 24-17 loss to Luther. The 22 tackles made by Holmes were four shy of tying Simpson's school record of 26 set in 2004 by Chris Kern, also against Luther.
• Jackson Redmond is becoming a favorite target of Simpson quarterbacks. The junior is on pace for a career year, leading the team with 17 catches for 276 yards. He has made at least three receptions in all but one game this season and receives 24 percent of the team's targets.