Storm can’t slow Central in 49-14 loss

Storm can’t slow Central in 49-14 loss

PELLA, Iowa — Riley Gray threw for 295 yards and four TDs and Sam Markham surpassed 100 yards receiving as Central beat the Simpson football team 49-14 on Saturday.

A touchdown run by Braden Meints gave Simpson a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter but the high-powered Central offense scored touchdowns on the next five possessions to pull away in the 94th playing of the rivalry.

Gray tossed TDs to Markham, Zack Martinelli, Kohle Helle and Kyle Gritsch for the Dutch (7-2, 5-2 Iowa Conference), who won their third game in a row and third straight in the series. Central racked up 580 yards on 85 plays.

Caleb Frye threw for 151 yards and one TD and Ricky Reeve had a career-high eight catches for 66 yards and a score for the Storm (3-6, 2-5). Frye completed 14 of 24 passes -- including 11 of 14 in the first half -- and led the team with 60 yards on the ground. 

Simpson scored both of its touchdowns off Central turnovers in the first half. Brendan Holmes intercepted Gray to set up a 17-yard TD pass from Frye to Reeve. Defensive end Isaac Frazier created the next scoring opportunity, stripping Gray on a keeper to set the stage for a one-yard plunge from Meints.

One of Division III's leaders in sacks and forced fumbles, Frazier became Simpson's career record holder Saturday with the eighth forced fumble of his career. 

Simpson led 14-7 before Gray hooked up with Markham for a 33-yard score with 3:23 left in the first half. Simpson went three-and-out, allowing Central to go 82 yards in 1:08, capping off the drive with a 15-yard TD pass to Gritsch to give Central a 21-14 lead at halftime.

The Dutch pulled away with three scoring drives in the third quarter.

Ryan Lehr led the defense with eight tackles while Frazier and Galen Gist had 0.5 sacks apiece. Trey Chumbley had seven stops and 1.5 tackles for loss.

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