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Big third quarter propels Central over Simpson

Brendan Holmes now holds the school record for most tackles in a career.
Brendan Holmes now holds the school record for most tackles in a career.

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Tanner Krueger passed for over 400 yards, Sam Bartlett and Austin Bell each had over 150-yards receiving but it was not enough as rival Central claimed a 51-34 victory during a high-scoring affair inside Buxton Stadium Saturday.

Krueger had a career-high 408-yards passing with 4 TDs and Bartlett averaged 20.9 yards per catch on eight receptions for 167 yards and one score. Bell also had a career day with 150 yards receiving and two TDs as the offense put up 536 yards as a unit. On the defensive side of the ball, Brendan Holmes now holds the school record for most tackles in a career by surpassing the record of 339 with his 15-tackle performance and now has 349.

Along with Holmes, Joe Weppler, Michael Connor and Chris Bowles all had double-digit tackle efforts. Weppler paced the team with 16, Connor chipped in 15 and Bowles had 12.

The Dutch (7-1, 5-1 A-R-C) used a 28-point third quarter to claim a crucial American Rivers Conference victory to stay in the hunt for a conference title and push the win streak to six games over the Storm (4-4, 3-3 A-R-C) in the series that first began in 1905.

Simpson started with the ball and marched right down the field in an 11-play drive capped off by a 2-yard TD run by Joe Meyer. Central followed that with a field goal to cut the deficit down to 7-3 and on the ensuing drive, forced the Storm to punt. It took the Dutch 11 plays afterwards to take the lead at 10-7 after a 10-yard TD pass from Blaine Hawkins.

The Storm regained the lead at 14-10 after Bell brought in his first TD catch of the day from 13-yards out. Central would respond with a score of its own to make it 17-14, which held until halftime. Simpson looked to score from the 1-yard line with seven minutes to go in the second quarter to take the lead, but the Dutch forced Joe Meyer to fumble into the endzone and would jump on the ball for a touchback.

As halftime was approaching, Central was looking to score from the 4-yard line with less than 10 seconds on the clock, but the Storm tackled a Dutch receiver at the 1-yard line and time ticked off the clock as there was a miscue in placing the ball on the hashmark, allowing Simpson to keep the visitors from scoring.

During the Dutch's 28-point outburst in the third quarter, Central only needed 12 plays to take a 45-14 advantage. The Dutch would force Simpson to punt three times and picked off one pass during that span while on defense.

Simpson made it a game by scoring on its next three of four drives and held the Dutch out of the endzone inbetween drives. Krueger fired three TD passes to bring the game to a 45-34 contest as Luke West, Bell and Bartlett each found pay dirt on a Krueger pass.

With just over a minute to go in the league game, Central added another score to extend its win streak over the Storm. Hawkins finished with 419 yards passing, five TDs and completed 19 straight passes at one point during the contest.

Notes
• Krueger ran for 67 yards for the third highest mark in his career and most this season. The senior was the team's leading rusher.
• Bartlett now has five games this season with at least 100-yards receiving and six contests with a TD grab.
• The 34 points are the most a Simpson team has scored in a loss since putting 38 on the board during a 45-38 defeat at Nebraska Wesleyan on Nov. 4, 2017.

Up Next
Simpson travels to Loras on Saturday, Nov. 9 for a 1 p.m. contest against the Duhawks.

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