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Simpson hosts Coe for Homecoming

Simpson hosts Coe for Homecoming

After a pair of tough road losses, Simpson returns home for the first time in more than a month when Coe visits Buxton Stadium for Homecoming on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Both teams come into Saturday's game following humbling losses a week ago, as Coe was handed a 43-0 loss to No. 7 Wartburg and Simpson suffered a 44-10 setback at Dubuque.

Despite a pair of forgettable outings, the Storm are still one of the best defenses in the nation in terms of creating turnovers, while boasting the No. 1 redzone defense in Division III.

Coe running back Sam Lahr has his sights set on a fourth, 100-yard game this season, leading an offense looking to recover after getting shut out for the first time in 16 years. Kohawk quarterback Josh Reckers pilots one of the league's top passing attacks.

 

Matchup

2014 Coe Kohawks

2014 Simpson Storm

 

Game Information

Kickoff

  • Buxton Stadium, Indianola, Iowa – 1 p.m.

Watch Live

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Game Notes

Inside the series

  • Saturday marks the 39th meeting between Coe and Simpson in a series that dates back to 1910.
  • Coe leads the all-time series 24-14 and is 10-7 against Simpson in Indianola.
  • Before last year's overtime win in Cedar Rapids, Simpson had lost 10 straight in the series.
  • Simpson is 1-5 against Coe under Jim Glogowski.
  • Coe has won five games in a row at Buxton Stadium. In Coe's last two wins in Indianola, the Kohawks have won by an average of 30.5 points (42-21 in 2010 and 47-7 iin 2012).
  • Simpson's last win against Coe at home came in 2001.

A look at the Kohawks

  • Quarterback Sam Rekers pilots a Coe offense that ranks fifth in the league with 394.6 yards per game. He is the No. 3 passer in the Iowa Conference in terms of yards per game, averaging better than 240 per contest. He has thrown for 1,201 yards and completes 56 percent of his passes. 
  • After starting the season with a pair of 300-yard efforts, Rekers has cooled down considerably. Hew threw for 273 in a loss to UW-Stevens Point and hasn't reached 200 yards since. He completed just eight passes for 111 yards in last week's loss to Wartburg.
  • Reckers' favorite target is 5-10 sophomore, Trevor Heitland. Heitland has a team-high 25 catches on the year, 10 more than any other player on the team. Possessing big-play ability, Heitland averages 15 yards per catch and has a 74-yard reception to his credit, coming against Cornell on Sept. 13.
  • Unlike Simpson's running back by-committee attack, Coe features 6-1, 190-pound junior Sam Lahr. Averaging just under 100 yards per game, Lahr has accounted for more than 50 percent of the team's rushes this season. He has shown a nose for the endzone this year with six rushing touchdowns, the second-most by a running back in the league.
  • The Coe defense is led by senior middle linebacker Mitchell Berendes. Berendes has a team-high 49 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss. He has been around the ball a lot this season, forcing two fumbles and leading the team with five pass breakups.
  • Interior defensive lineman Matt Schmitz has displayed a knack for getting into the backfield, tallying a team-high 6.5 tackles for loss. He also has 2.5 sacks, sharing the team lead with 6-4 defensive end Dustin Elsbury. The defensive backfield is led by sophomore free safety Dylan Stepleton and his two interceptions.
  • Sophomore Brandon Abbas handles a majority of the kicking duties for Coe, going 15-for-16 on extra-point attempts and 1-for-2 on field goals. His long was a 34-yarder against Loras on Oct. 4. Colton Benhart has also seen action in the kicking game, connecting on his only field goal attempt of the season, a 23-yarder against Loras. Zach Doermann handles the punting duties, averaging 37.3 yards in 30 punts this season.

Storm defense among nation's best

  • Simpson owns Division III's top red zone defense, allowing opponents to score just 44.4 percent of the time they get inside the 20. Teams are just 8 of 18 against Simpson in the red zone.
  • Simpson ranks third in Division III with nine fumble recoveries, surpassing the team's total turnovers created (10) in all of 2013. Endicott and Wittenburg (11) lead the nation in the category.
  • Simpson ranks 49th in Division III with 12 turnovers created. The Storm have nine fumble recoveries and three INTs.
  • 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 46 times through five games.
  • Bruising back Ethan Calvert leads the team with 250 yards and two TDs, scat-back Tyler Kenny has 230 yards and multi-faceted Jordan Beem – who also has 11 catches on the year – has  226 yards. Berkey has 158 yards rushing and a team-high four rushing 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 87 of 154 with seven TDs and seven INTs. He is completing 56.5 percent of his passes and averages 222 yards per game, fourth in the IIAC.
  • 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 22 catches for 400 yards on the year, averaging 80.0 yards per game and more than 18 yards per reception.
  • Of Walker's 22 receptions, 19 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 32:59, currently ranked 22nd in Division III.

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 has made 3 of 4 field goals overall and is 7-for-7 in extra point attempts.
  • Simpson's seven made field goals lead the Iowa Conference.
  • Klein has also been getting the job done in the punting game. His 38.2 average ranks second in the IIAC. 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 33-32) 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.