INDIANOLA, Iowa – The Simpson football team had no problem moving the ball against the Loras defense.
The challenge was holding onto it.
Simpson averaged almost 6 yards per play but committed four turnovers, including a pick-six to Maurice Young, losing to Loras 27-24 on Saturday at Buxton Stadium.
After being down by as many as 10, Simpson trailed just 20-17 in the fourth quarter when Young stepped in front of a Braedon Tovey pass along the sideline, returning the interception 53 yards for a touchdown to give Loras a 27-17 lead with 9:20 to play.
It was the fourth interception of the day for the Duhawks (2-5, 1-3 Iowa Conference), who racked up 132 return yards and scored 17 points off Simpson turnovers.
"We just didn't execute today," head coach Jim Glogowski said.
Starting for the injured Dylan Berkey, Tovey threw for 317 yards and ran for 58 and two scores for the Storm (3-4, 0-4), who dropped their fourth game in a row after a 3-0 start.
"These are tough deals," Glogowski said. "Sometimes you put yourself out there on Saturday and it doesn't go your way."
Tovey completed 24 of 44 passes but was intercepted four times. Jordan Beem ran for a team-high 61 yards and a touchdown as Simpson rushed 151 yards as a team and racked up 468 yards of total offense. Ethan Kain had a career-day with seven catches for 91 yards.
Robert Kelly threw for 304 yards and Nate Even made 11 catches for 169 yards and a score, helping Loras snap a four-game losing streak in the series.
"It's tough when you give an interception up for seven and we turned the ball over way too many times," Glogowski said. "But give them credit. The backs ran hard, they threw the ball and caught the ball well and did a nice job today."
Mason Quigley's 38-yard field goal gave Loras 13-3 lead with 39 seconds left in the second quarter before Tovey mounted a 65-yard scoring drive in just 22 seconds. After a 19-yard pass to Beem and a 23-yard hookup with Walker Holland, Tovey went back to Holland for a 12-yard gain to get to the Loras 11. Tovey took it himself from there, scrambling in on the next play to pull Simpson within 13-10 at halftime.
Even made a 20-yard touchdown catch to start the third quarter, but Simpson answered with an 8-yard touchdown run by Beem to start the fourth.
Down 20-17, the defense forced a three-and-out on the next possession, sparked by a big sack from Alex Severn. The ensuing drive ended near midfield with Young's interception.
Simpson didn't go away, though, driving 80 yards in eight plays to pull within three for the third time. Tovey scrambled in from six yards out with 1:37 left, but Loras recovered the onside kick attempt and ran out the clock.
Simpson travels to Pella, Iowa to face rival Central on Saturday, Nov. 1. The Dutch (5-2, 3-1) beat Coe 45-21 on Saturday in Cedar Rapids.