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Football heads to Dubuque looking for first IIAC win

Football heads to Dubuque looking for first IIAC win

In a matchup featuring a pair of teams looking to rebound after disappointing losses during the first week of Iowa Conference play, Simpson travels to Dubuque for a 4 p.m. kickoff on Saturday.

After allowing just 5.3 points per game on the way to a 3-0 start, the Storm (3-1, 0-1 Iowa Conference) ran into a well-oiled Buena Vista offense in a 38-31 loss last Saturday in Storm Lake. Despite the loss, the passing game looked sharp most of the afternoon and helped Simpson nearly erase a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit as Dylan Berkey recorded his first, 300-yard game.

Dubuque opened the Iowa Conference schedule on the road and was handed a 28-14 loss at Luther. The Spartans (1-3, 0-1) picked up their lone win against Pacific, 16-10 on Sept. 20.

The last two meetings between Simpson and Dubuque have been nothing short of entertaining. Dubuque won 45-40 in 2012 and Simpson posted a dramatic 50-46 win last year in Indianola.

 

Matchup

2014 Dubuque Spartans

2014 Simpson Storm

 

Game Information

Kickoff

  • Chalmers Field, Dubuque, Iowa – 4 p.m.

Watch Live

  • Live Video/Stats – www.simpsonathletics.com (courtesy of Dubuque Sports Information)
  • KCRG 9.2 (check local listing for more information)

Web sites, social media

 

Game Notes

Inside the series

  • Saturday marks the 65th meeting between Simpson and Dubuque in a series that dates back to 1950.
  • Simpson leads the all-time series 34-27-3 and is 18-14-1 at Dubuque.
  • Before last year's win in Indianola, Simpson had lost four straight in the series.
  • Simpson is 2-4 against Dubuque under Jim Glogowski.
  • Simpson owns the longest winning streak in the series, taking 19 in a row from 1987-2005.
  • In the last two meetings, Simpson and Dubuque have combined to score 181 points and amass 2,107 yards of total offense. Dubuque accounted for 599 total yards in 2013 and 482 in 2012; Simpson racked up 495 yards in 2013 and 531 in 2012.

A look at the Spartans

  • Normally accustomed to fielding one of the top offenses in the Iowa Conference, Dubuque has had trouble getting started in 2014. Through four games, Dubuque is last in the league in scoring offense (14.8 ppg) and total offense (324.8 ypg) and ranks seventh in rushing (117.8 ypg) and sixth in passing (207.0 ypg).
  • Despite the team's offensive woes, 2013 first team all-conference receiver Tyler Rutenbeck remains a force to be reckoned with. Through four games the 6-3, 184-pound senior ranks third in the Iowa Conference with 29 receptions, totaling 406 yards and four touchdowns. Last year's Division III leader with 22 TD receptions, Rutenbeck has accounted for nearly 39 percent of the team's receptions.
  • First-year starting quarterback Zach Fry has had some growing pains in 2014. The senior has thrown for 828 yards and four touchdowns but leads the Iowa Conference with eight inerceptions. 
  • Defensively, Dubuque boasts three of the league's top-five tacklers. Linebacker Trevor Stauner leads the IIAC with 48 tackles, defensive back Vincent Whipple is second with 47 and 2013 first team all-conference linebacker Blaine Snitker is tied for fourth with 42. Snitker's 3.5 TFLs lead the team and Oscar White has a pair of INTs.
  • Junior kicker Curtis Prull is perfect 3-for-3 in the field goal department and 6-for-6 on extra points. He is the only kicker in the IIAC without a miss, hitting each of his FGs in the win over Pacific. He made twice from 22 yards and once from 33 to earn IIAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Storm defense among nation's best

  • Simpson owns Division III's top red zone defense, allowing opponents to score just 30.8 percent of the time they get inside the 20. Teams are just 4 of 13 against Simpson in the red zone, scoring three touchdowns and one field goal while turning the ball over four times and giving it up twice on downs.
  • Simpson ranks second in Division III with nine fumble recoveries, surpassing the team's total turnovers created (10) in all of 2013. Wittenburg (10) leads the nation in fumble recoveries.
  • Simpson ranks 20th in Division III with 12 turnovers created. The Storm have nine fumble recoveries and three INTs.
  • Simpson's defense is allowing just 13.5 points per game, currently ranked 25th in Division III.
  • The Simpson defense went eight straight quarters and more than 136 minutes without allowing a touchdown, keeping opponents out of the end zone from the second quarter against UW-River Falls through the first quarter against Buena Vista. Simpson allowed a rushing touchdown to River Falls running back Kywon Cartwright in the first quarter on Sept. 13, didn't allow a touchdown against Illinois Wesleyan on Sept. 20 and held Buena Vista out of the endzone in the first quarter on Oct. 4. The streak totaled 136:01.

Rushing by committee

  • Simpson's rush offense has been a group effort in 2014. Four players – three running backs and quarterback Dylan Berkey – have carried at least 38 times through four games.
  • Bruising back Ethan Calvert leads the team with 224 yards and two TDs, scat-back Tyler Kenny has 203 yards and multi-faceted Jordan Beem – who also has 10 catches on the year – has  186 yards. Berkey has 99 yards rushing and a team-high four TDs, three coming in the opener at Iowa Wesleyan on Sept. 6.

Berkey makes most of opportunity

  • It took three years, but senior quarterback Dylan Berkey finally got his opportunity to run the Simpson offense in the 2014 season opener against Iowa Wesleyan. Berkey sat behind 2013 IIAC Offensive MVP, Taylor Nelson, for the past three seasons. 
  • In his first game as a starter, Berkey completed 20 of 30 passes for 228 yards with a touchdown, rushing for three scores as Simpson beat Iowa Wesleyan 43-7 on Sept. 6.
  • This season Berkey is 74 of 123 with seven TDs and seven INTs. He is completing better than 60 percent of his passes and averages 242 yards per game.
  • Berkey had the first 300-yard passing game of his career in the loss to Buena Vista, going 22 of 38 for 304 yards.

Big-play Walker Holland sparks offense

  • Senior Walker Holland has emerged as a big-play receiver for the Simpson offense in 2014. He leads the team with 19 catches for 365 yards on the year, averaging 91.2 yards per game and more than 19 yards per reception.
  • Of Walker's 19 receptions, 16 have been "money" catches (receptions that go for first downs or touchdowns) and six have been for 20 yards or more. 
  • Against Wisconsin-River Falls, all three of Holland's catches went for 38 yards or more, catching a 43-yard touchdown in the first quarter, a 40-yarder in the second and a 38-yard touchdown in the fourth. All three of his receptions against Illinois Wesleyan resulted in first downs, including a clutch 69-yarder on a slant in the fourth quarter that set up the game-clinching field goal in a 13-3 win.
  • Holland made a career-high eight receptions in the loss against Buena Vista.

Clark goes long

  • Junior wide receiver Corbin Clark made an 83-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter of Simpson's loss to Buena Vista on Oct. 4.
  • The reception was the longest by a Simpson receiver since 2011 and is tied for the fourth-longest reception in school history.

Playing keep away

  • Few teams in the nation have been better at keeping the ball out of the hands of the opposition than Simpson. The Storm's average time of possession is 34:27, currently ranked 10th in Division III.
  • A key factor in Simpson's ability to hold on to the ball has been its proficiency on 3rd and 4th down. Simpson is 36 of 78 in such situations, converting 46.2 percent of the time.
  • Simpson is 29 of 67 on 3rd down and leads the Iowa Conference with 7 of 11 conversions on 4th down.

Proficiency in the kicking game

  • Simpson has the rare luxury of two, game-tested placekickers in senior Logan Klein and freshman Drew Jensen. Klein earned IIAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after week one when he made two field goals and went a perfect 4-for-4 in extra point attempts. He is 4-for-5 in field goals on the year and 5-for-7 in extra points, all of his misses coming because of blocks. Jensen got the nod as starting placekicker against Illinois Wesleyan, going 2-for-2 in field goals and connecting on his lone extra point attempt.
  • Simpson's six made field goals lead the Iowa Conference.
  • Klein has also been getting the job done in the punting game. His 41.3 average leads the league. Klein has pinned opponents inside their own 20 four times and has three boots of 50-plus yards.

Glogowski climbs wins list

  • Seventh-year head coach Jim Glogowski improved to 33-30 (now 33-31) during his career with Simpson's 13-3 win over Illinois Wesleyan on Sept. 20. The win moved him ahead of Jay Niemann (32-29 from 2002-07) for third on Simpson's all-time wins list. He needs one win to tie R.G. "Hap" Miller (34-47-3 from 1948-57) for second on the all-time list.
  • Glogowski has a way to go to become Simpson's all-time wins leader. Jim Williams holds the title, going 106-48-1 during his 15-year career from 1987-2001.