INDIANOLA, Iowa – A 15-yard TD run by Jordan Beem tied the game early in the first quarter but No. 5 Wartburg rattled off 34 straight points to beat Simpson 41-10 on Saturday.
A clipping penalty negated the score, though, and Wartburg scored again to take a 21-7 lead at the break.
"We can't do those things," head coach Jim Glogowski said. "That's kind of been a theme for the year. We can't seem to get out of our own way and that's frustrating."
Logan Schrader threw for 376 yards and five TDs to five different receivers as the Knights (9-0, 6-0) clinched at least a share of the Iowa Conference title with the win.
Beem carried 20 times for a season-high 105 yards to help the Storm (3-6, 0-6) out-rush Wartburg 185-167.
"I'm proud of our kids. They fought hard," Glogowski said.
Led by 11 tackles from linebacker Brandon Abernathy, the Simpson defense did a good job of bottling up the Wartburg rushing attack for most of the afternoon, stopping Knight running backs short of the line of scrimmage four times.
Schrader was the difference for Wartburg, completing 24 of 35 passes without an interception. He also ran for a score on a 10-yard scramble.
Simpson's passing game wasn't as effective on a day when winds were out of the South at 15-20 mph. Berkey, Braedon Tovey and Caleb Frye completed 8 of 21 passes for 61 yards against a stingy Wartburg secondary.
Logan Klein punted 11 times on the day, averaging nearly 39 yards per punt, many of which went against the wind. Drew Jensen gave Simpson it's final score when he connected on a 20-yard field goal – also into the wind – with 4:40 to play.
Simpson hosts Luther next Saturday, Nov. 15 in the final game of the season. Simpson will celebrate its senior football players, athletic trainers, cheerleaders and dance team members prior to the game.
The Norse (4-5, 1-5) lost to Loras 22-20 on Saturday.
"It's been a tough season, no doubt," Glogowski said. "We started out 3-0 and I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that we'd lose six straight. But that's where we're at. Now we have to go back to work and try to figure out a way to get that fourth win."