Defense, special teams lead Storm to shutout win over Loras

Defense, special teams lead Storm to shutout win over Loras

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Punter Nathan Hawkins had a record-setting day, Caleb Frye tossed three TD passes and an already stout defense had its best game of the season as the Simpson football team shut out Loras 30-0 on Saturday.

Simpson put an end to a streak of seven straight quarters without a touchdown on a seven-yard TD run by Jordan Beem in the first quarter, the only score the defense would need. Simpson allowed a season-low 298 yards, including just 86 in the first half for the program's first shutout since 2012.

"The defense made its mind up today how the game was going to turn out," head coach Matt Jeter said. "We wanted to make a statement."

While the defense played light out, the offense did its part as Frye threw for 178 yards on 15 of 23 passing, adding 64 yards on the ground for the Storm (3-4, 2-3 Iowa Conference). He went without an interception, utilizing his dual-threat capabilities with 15 rushes.

"He made great decisions today," Jeter said. "If it wasn't there, he ran the ball or he threw it away. As a quarterback, we need him to lead our offense and make those decisions."

Backup quarterback Bob Kelly threw for 192 yards, Zach Minch ran for 91 and Jon Powers caught nine passes for 106 yards for the Duhawks (0-7, 0-5), who saw their losing streak increase to 10 games dating back to last season.

Entering the game as the team's backup punter, Hawkins made a play to move into a starting role after averaging a school-record 52.7 yards on six punts. He had three punts of 50-plus yards, forcing Loras to dig itself out of poor field position all day long. He pinned Loras inside the 20 four times and boomed a 66-yarder, the fifth-longest in school history.

Loras' average starting position was its own 21.

"He did an excellent job of turning the field," Jeter said. "He was hurt earlier in the season but was patient and stepped up when his number was called today."

Jackson Redmond, Ricky Reeve and Nathan Russell caught TD passes for the Storm. Redmond caught a fade in the back corner of the end zone with 8 seconds left in the second quarter to give Simpson a 16-0 lead at halftime while Russell and Reeve caught short TD passes in the fourth quarter. Reeve's TD came after Travis Tupper recovered a fumbled punt return at the Loras 10.

Simpson punted on its first two possessions of the game before going to the ground with Beem. The senior -- who finished with 85 yards -- ran for 43 on the Storm's third possession alone, capping it off with a seven-yard scoring jaunt. 

Drew Jensen connected on a 22-yard field goal the next possession, giving him a school-record 10 on the season. The junior is 10-for-11 on the year.

Brendan Holmes led the team with 12 tackles. Ryan Sarver had 11 and 2.5 tackles for loss as the Storm finished with nine tackles for loss on the day.

UP NEXT
The Storm host Nebraska Wesleyan next Saturday at Buxton Stadium. The Prairie Wolves (2-5, 1-4) were off Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Football Preview Game 10: Coe
November 10, 2016 Football Preview Game 10: Coe
Football Preview: Central
November 4, 2016 Football Preview: Central
FB PREVIEW: Simpson at Dubuque
September 17, 2016 FB PREVIEW: Simpson at Dubuque