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Football Preview: Central

Caleb Striegel (73), Mason Spree (76) and Spencer Finch (71)
Caleb Striegel (73), Mason Spree (76) and Spencer Finch (71)

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Simpson football team looks to get back on track this weekend as the Central Dutch visit Buxton Stadium for a 1 p.m. contest Saturday afternoon.

The Storm (4-3, 3-2 A-R-C) tallied its second American Rivers Conference defeat last weekend at Coe in a 10-7 defensive battle, while the Dutch took care of business against Nebraska Wesleyan in a 49-35 game.

The game will be streamed live through Todd Guessford will have the call with Ethan Humble with pregame beginning at 12:15 p.m.

Central (6-1, 4-1 A-R-C) at Simpson (4-3, 3-2 A-R-C)
Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
Buxton Stadium | Indianola, Iowa
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats

LISTEN TO THE STORM: For the fifth straight season, KNIA is the radio home of Storm football. The team of Andrew Swadner and Rick Wilson will have the call on 94.3 FM and 1320 AM or online at Fans can also download the KNIA app, available on iTunes and Google Play. Pregame coverage begins at 12:35 p.m.

FIRST AND 10: Simpson will look to play spoiler this weekend as Central visits with just one blemish on its conference record ... the Dutch are still in the hunt for a shot at the A-R-C crown with a games against Coe and Wartburg still left on the slate ... the Storm look to snap a five game losing skid to Central.

CENTRAL SERIES NOTES: The Storm and Dutch meet for the 98th time in a series that dates back to 1905 ... Central owns a 68-26-3 career mark over Simpson and have won the last five contests in the series … the Storm have only won three times in the series since 2008.

ABOUT THE DUTCH: Central is coming into the contest after two straight conference victories over Buena Vista and Nebraska Wesleyan ... the Dutch are one of two teams in the league with just one A-R-C loss, which came against Dubuque in a 28-7 affair ... the team's offense is second in league in scoring at 40.6 points per game, while the defense is fourth by allowing just 24.0 points per outing ... quarterback Blaine Hawkins is second in the league by tossing 266.4 yards a game and has connected on 24 pass TDs during his junior season.

BACK TO OLD WAYS: After a slow start in conference play, Michael Connor has shown his tackling prowess over the last two weeks to pace the team's defense ... After 16 tackles through the first three contests against A-R-C opponents, the senior has had 14 tackles in each of the last two games to help prevent Wartburg and Coe from reaching their scoring averages ... Connor is now tied for third in the league with 62 takedowns … Connor had an impressive season a year ago with six games of 13 or more tackles with a career-high 18 tackles ... he now has 265 career tackles.

REACHING HISTORY: Brendan Holmes currently sits at 334 career tackles and is five takedowns short of tying Jarod Young's program record of 339 ... Young recorded those tackles during the 1993-96 seasons en route to earning All-American honors in 1996 ... Holmes has 58 tackles this year for second on the team.

SECONDARY SUPPORT: Simpson's defense came through in the secondary during last weekend's game at Coe with three interceptions ... the key interception came when Parker Schenk tallied his second of the year and brought it back 59 yards to set the Storm's offense up at the 8-yard line in a first-and-goal situation ... Brendan Holmes caught his second interception this year and in back-to-back weeks ... Holmes had a 25-yard return after picking off the Kohawks' quarterback at Simpson's own 15-yard line ... Cam Callion got in on the party with his second takeaway of the year.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAY: The Storm special team units came up big on Saturday to help Simpson start in good field position ... Nico Pelkey came rushing through to block a Coe punt that was then recovered by the Storm on the Kohawks' own 4-yard line ... on kickoff, Terrhyn Jacoby had three returns for 77 yards, including a long of 35 yards ... Mason Ackerson kept up his impressive freshman season as the team's punter by booting three balls for 117 yards ... Ackerson finished with an average of 39.0 yards including a long of 49, while also placing one inside the 20-yard line.

STORM IN THE RANKINGS: Mason Ackerson, Sam Bartlett and Zach Kreider are ranking near the top of their respective statistical categories for Simpson in the conference and across the country.

Sam Bartlett:
Receiving yards per game (115.6) – 1st in A-R-C, 14th in nation
Receiving yards (809) – 2nd in A-R-C, 16th in nation
Touchdowns (11) – 2nd in A-R-C, 13th in nation
Total points scored (66) – 2nd in A-R-C, 16th in nation

Mason Ackerson:

Punting average (37.9) – 2nd in A-R-C, 56th in nation

Zach Kreider:
Field goals per game (1.14) – 1st in A-R-C, 19th in nation

AROUND THE A-R-C: Wartburg still sits alone at top of the A-R-C standings with a 5-0 league mark, while Coe and Central are the lone teams with one blemish ... aside from the main event in Indianola on Saturday, the Kohawks head to Waverly to look to knock off the Knights, while Luther meets up with Buena Vista as both teams eye their first conference win of the season ... Loras takes on Nebraska Wesleyan to round out the A-R-C matchups ... all games begin at 1 p.m.

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