INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson football team outgained Bethel by 30 yards and converted more first downs but ill-timed turnovers and penalties came back to haunt the Storm in a 41-29 loss to Bethel in the season-opener Saturday at Buxton Stadium.
Simpson led 22-21 late in the third quarter but had an interception called back due to a holding penalty. Bethel eventually found the endzone on the drive and scored 14 unanswered points, creating enough cushion to hold off the Storm's passing attack.
With the win, the Royals (1-0) improved to 5-0 all-time against the Storm (0-1).
Quarterback Tanner Krueger threw for 309 yards and three TDs in his first career start, hooking up with Austin Hronich for a pair of 23-yard scores. Hronich pulled down seven catches for 114 yards and Cam Bunting rushed 28 times for 82 yards and a score. Michael Connor paced the defense with 18 tackles and safety Ryan Lehr had a pair of INTs.
The Royals displayed a punishing ground game, running for 235 yards. Sam Gibas accounted for 108 and three TDs while Gideon Erhabor ran for 78 yards.
Simpson goes to Chicago for the final non-conference game of the season next Saturday, Sept. 8. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.