INDIANOLA, Iowa – Jared McNutt threw for 302 yards, Brandan Leiran ran for 155 and No. 18 Coe spoiled Simpson's homecoming with a 47-7 football win in front of a packed house on Saturday.
In a battle between the final two undefeated teams in Iowa Conference play, the Koahawks (7-0, 5-0) used a steady, efficient offense to rack up 556 yards and move into sole possession of first place.
"This one hurts. Its dissapointing," head coach Jim Glogowski said.
Taylor Nelson threw for 301 yards but the Storm (5-2, 3-1) managed only 28 yards on the ground against one of the conference's top defenses. Taylor Rogers caught 10 passes for 168 yards and had Simpson's only touchdown on the day.
"We were off," Glogowski said. "We did some things to hurt ourselves and we made some mistakes early on. They seemed to make us pay for those mistakes."
Simpson didn't have an answer for McNutt and the passing game, as the senior set an NCAA Division III record for completion percentage by going 28 of 30 with two touchdowns. Nine different receivers caught passes, led by Kris Hopkins who made eight catches for 63 yards.
Down 14-0 in the second quarter, Nelson started targeting Rogers. The two connected three times during the drive – once for 39 yards, once for 16 and a again on a 9-yard fade into the endzone that brought Simpson within a score.
The momentum could have shifted even further in Simpson's favor on the ensuing kickoff, when Sean DeGoey forced a Junstin Snorton fumble. Initially, it looked as though Simpson covered the loose ball. But after a delay to sort through the pile, Coe's Blake Miller retained possession.
"That was the story of our day," Glogowski said of the missed opportunity.
It was all Coe from there. The Kohawks eventually scored on the drive, then forced a safety on Nelson, closing the half on a 19-0 run.
Coe controlled time of possession, holding the ball for more than 37 minutes. The No. 3 team in the nation in turnover margin coming into the game, the Kohawks forced two Nelson turnovers – an interception and a fumble – while Simpson forced a pair of fumbles but couldn't recover either.
Mark Cronin made a game-high 10 tackles for Simpson and Zach West had six tackles and two for loss for Coe. Frank Weymiller had two sacks and made the tackle on Nelson in the endzone which resulted in a safety.
"Anything that could go wrong, did go wront today," Glogowski said. "Sometimes that happens. When it does, you have to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and get back after it next week."
Simpson travles to Dubuque next week to play Dubuque in a 4 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 27. The Spartans (2-5, 1-3) lost to Wartburg 34-31 on Saturday.