INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Cam Bunting ran for two touchdowns, Joey Gale made three field goals and the Simpson football team scored 26-unanswered points in the second half to beat Coe 29-7 on Homecoming Saturday at Buxton Stadium.
Bunting scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard scamper with 2:47 left in the third quarter, then added a 2-yarder following a blocked punt in the fourth as the Storm improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the American Rivers Conference. With the loss, the Kohawks fall to 3-3 and 2-2 in the league.
Tanner Krueger threw for 297 yards on 22-for-50 passing, connecting with Sam Bartlett six times for 109 yards. Bunting ran for 87 hard-earned yards, finding the endzone twice. Brendan Holmes, Vaughn Brasseaux and Trey Chumbley all had 10 tackles apiece.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Simpson trailed 7-6 in the third quarter when the defense forced a three-and-out. A 14-yard Coe punt gave Simpson the ball at the Kohawk 41, and the Storm took advantage. A 14-yard run by Bunting and a 24-yard completion to Joe McNally set up Bunting's 1-yard plunge to make it 12-7. McNally's grab came in heavy traffic and he was able to hold on despite taking a big hit.
The Storm faced third-and-7 at their own 16 on the next drive before Krueger hit Bartlett on a perfect over-the-shoulder delivery on the far sidelines. The drive eventually stalled on fourth down, but Simpson blocked Coe's punt on the ensuing drive. Carter Paterson recovered the block at the 3 to set up Bunting's 2-yard score for a 19-7 lead.
Simpson all-but sealed the win when Quinn Slaven intercepted Quentin White to set up a 2-yard scoring run by Krueger. The quarterback ran a naked bootleg on third-and-goal for the final score of the game.
Gale missed his first field goal attempt of the day, but came back strong, making his next three. He missed a 32-yarder late in the first quarter before putting Simpson on the board with a 37-yarder in the second. He knocked in a 27-yarder in the third quarter to pull Simpson within 7-6, then put Simpson ahead 22-7 with a career-long 39-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Safety Ryan Lehr preserved a scoreless tie on the first play of the second quarter when he stepped in front of White's pass at the Simpson 1-yard line for his third interception of the season. The pick put an end to a 10-play, 56-yard drive by the Kohawks.
- Simpson is off to its best start since also going 4-1 to begin the 2012 season.
- Simpson's win snapped a streak of six straight wins by the road team in the series with Coe.
- Simpson held Coe to its lowest point total in the series since 1991.
- The Storm offense ran a season-high 95 plays, averaging 4.2 yards per play.
- Bunting's two rushing scores give him 10 straight games with a rushing TD.
- Sam Bartlett became the third different Simpson receiver to go for 100-plus yards in a game this season, making six grabs for 109 yards.
- Following Bunting's go-ahead score in the third quarter, Simpson's defense held Coe to just 26 yards over the next five possessions.
- Ryan Lehr broke his tie with teammate Brendan Holes on Simpson's career interception list, making the 10th of his career to move into sole possession of sixth place in school history.
Simpson's win sets up a big matchup next Saturday, Oct. 13 at Central. The Dutch beat Nebraska Wesleyan 35-29 on Saturday to improve to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the American Rivers, leaving Simpson and Central as the only two unbeaten teams in league play. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in Pella.