Preview: Storm host Luther for homecoming

From L to R: Prince Krah and Ryan Sarver
From L to R: Prince Krah and Ryan Sarver

The Simpson Storm host the Luther Norse for the annual homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 14. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m from Buxton Stadium in Indianola.

The Storm (3-3, 2-2 Iowa Conference) moved into a four-way tie for third place in the Iowa Conference standings after a 31-21 road win at Loras last Saturday. The Norse (4-1, 3-0) continued to surprise the league after coming back from 17 points down to beat Nebraska Wesleyan 41-38 on homecoming in Decorah.

Gameday Coverage
Video Stream: SimpsonAthletics.com
Video Talent: Todd Guessford (play-by-play), Paul Davis (analyst)
Radio: KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and KNIAKRLS.com
Radio Talent: Andrew Swadner (play-by-play), Rick Wilson (analyst)
Live Stats: SimpsonAthletics.com

Special Recognition
Simpson will recognize a number of individuals and teams on Saturday. Prior to the game, members of the 1997 Iowa Conference Champion football team will lead the team out of Hopper Gym onto the field. At halftime, those individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame at Friday night's Red & Gold Celebration will be recognized. Included in the honorees are hall of famers Janelle Claiborne Duffy '05 (women's golf), Lisa Simpson Klein '91 (women's track and field), Jason Ripke '07 (football) and coaches Joe Blake '71 (assistant baseball) and Henry Christowski (softball). Members of the 1991 College World Series Baseball team and the 1997 National Champion Softball team will also be recognized at halftime.

Quick Hits
• Simpson is looking to snap a three-game losing streak on homecoming, a stretch that includes a 24-17 loss to Luther last season.
• Simpson's defense held Loras 123 yards below its season average a week ago but will have an even tougher task against a Norse ground game that averages 305.4 yards on the ground, seventh-best in Division III.
• The Storm's quarterback situation is in the air after injuries to Sam Sasso and Tanner Krueger a week ago. Sasso is a gametime decision with strong-armed third-stringer Tanner Jansen likely to get snaps.
• The defense came up big again last week with a pair of interceptions, giving the Storm 10 on the season. That number is third-most in the IIAC, 18th in Division III and twice as many as the Storm had in all of 2016.
• Simpson's defense has at least one takeaway in each game this season and has 15 in head coach Matt Jeter's 16 games as head coach.
• Simpson outscored Loras 7-3 in the first quarter Saturday and is outscoring opponents 49-27 in the first quarter of games this season.
• The receiving duo of Jackson Redmond and Ricky Reeve has turned into one of the most formidable in the IIAC and the nation, as both rank in the top 30 nationally in receptions per game. Redmond's 7.2 catches per game is third in the IIAC and 26th nationally while Reeve's 6.8 grabs are fifth in the IIAC and 30th in the country.
• Lock-down cornerback Prince Krah ranks second in the IIAC and 11th in the nation with 2.2 passes defended per game.

A look at the Norse
Picked seventh in the IIAC Preseason Coaches Poll, fifth-year head coach Aaron Hafner's Luther squad has been the surprise story of the season, entering week six in first place in the Iowa Conference. Since a 27-7 loss to Wis.-La Crosse to open the season, the Norse are 4-0 thanks to a triple-option attack that has produced the nation's No. 7 rushing attack at more than 300 yards per game. Three players have 50-or-more carries on the season led by freshman FB Anthony Hollingshed, who leads the team with 359 yards on 62 carries. Senior RB Nick Slavens is the home run threat, averaging 8.3 yards per carry.

The Series
Saturday marks the 79th meeting between Simpson and Luther in a series that began in 1924. Luther leads the all- time series 45-32-1 and has won two of the last three in the series, including a 21-17 win in Indianola a year ago. Luther has won on its last two trips to Buxton Stadium, winning by a TD each time.

Watch the Storm in HD
Storm video streaming has gone high-definition! A new addition in the spring of 2017, Storm football fans can experience all six home game in HD for the first time this season. Veteran broadcaster Todd Guessford has the call alongside analyst Paul Davis, former defensive line coach for the Storm. Pregame begins at 12:15 p.m.

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.

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