INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Cam Bunting ran for a career-high 222 yards to lead a dominant rushing attack, and the Simpson football team stayed in the race for an American Rivers Conference title with a 38-33 win over Loras on a blustery Saturday afternoon at Buxton Stadium.
Quarterback Tanner Krueger got 72 of his career-high 84 rushing yards on the game's first touchdown as the Storm (5-2, 4-1) racked up 351 yards on the ground, the program's most against a conference opponent since 1999.
With the Storm's win, Wartburg's 47-20 win over previously unbeaten Central and Dubuque's 38-7 win over Buena Vista, there are now four teams with just one loss in conference play with just three weeks left in the season.
Krueger threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns, tossing two to Austin Hronich. Ricky Reeve led the receivers with nine catches for 97 yards.Linebacker Michael Connor led the defense with 14 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack. Safety Brendan Holmes had 13 stops and an interception while Vaughn Brasseaux added a pick.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Duhawks (4-3, 3-2) trailed 38-19 in the fourth quarter before Noah Sigwarth threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Sam Maloney and Josh Jones blocked a punt that Zach Kemp returned 11 yards for a touchdown to make it 38-33 with 9:10 left.
Simpson sealed the win with a pair of late interceptions and a perfectly place pooch punt. Brasseaux picked off Sigwarth at the Simpson 11 to end a promising drive before Krueger's pooch punt on fourth-and-6 from the Loras 34 was downed at 1-yard line. Holmes stepped in front of Sigwarth's pass down the seam on the next play to bring on the victory formation.
Big plays predicated the first half as Simpson opened the scoring on Krueger's 72-yard scamper in the first quarter. A 15-yard strike to Hronich made it 14-0 before Sigwarth connected with Sam Maloney on an 80-yard bomb to put Loras on the board. Brandon Niemeieatthel's 63-yard interception return the following possession set up a 1-yard scoring run by Cody Mighell. The extra-point was blocked for a 14-13 Simpson lead.
Simpson scored 21-unanswered points while going with the wind in the second and third quarters. A six-yard flip pass to Terryn Jacoby gave Simpson a 21-13 lead at halftime, Bunting added a 1-yard plunge to cap an 81-yard drive in the third and Krueger connected with Hronich for the second time to make it 35-13 with 4:51 left in the quarter.
After missing from 38 yards earlier in the day, Joey Gale made a 27-yarder against the wind to give Simpson a 38-19 lead with 12:59 left in the fourth.
STAT OF THE GAME
On a day when a 25 mph North wind made it difficult to pass, Simpson ran 64 times to wear down the Duhawk defense. The Storm gained 597 yards of total offense while running a school-record 101 plays, the third-highest total in Division III this season.
- Simpson's 101 offensive plays break the school record set two weeks ago in a homecoming win over Coe. Only Whitworth (106) and Carthage (105) have run more plays in a game in Division III this season.
- Bunting's 222 yards give him exactly 900 for the season and 1,953 for his career as he looks to become just the 11th, 2,000-yard rusher in school history.
- Bunting recorded the 25th 200-yard rushing game in school history. He is the 12th player to run for 200 yards in a game and first since Jordan Beem ran for 227 against Coe on Nov. 12, 2016.
- Bunting's 44 rushing attempts are the sixth-most in school history and most since Guy Leman carried 47 times against Luther in 1998.
- The Storm's 64 rushes are the most by a Simpson team since running 68 times against Dubuque in 2001.
Simpson travels to Luther on Saturday, Oct. 27. Start time is set for 1 p.m. in Decorah.