INDIANOLA, Iowa — The Simpson football team closes the season Saturday when it welcomes the league-leading Coe Kohawks to Buxton Stadium on Senior Day. The game will air on KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and online at KNIAKRLS.com. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Before the game Simpson will recognize its 19 senior football players along with senior athletic trainers, cheerleaders, dancers and pep band members. The ceremony will begin on the track in front of the home stands at approximately 12:30 p.m.
Saturday's game will also feature some pre-game entertainment as a local skydiving group will deliver the American flag and a game ball prior to kickoff.
The Storm (3-6, 2-5 Iowa Conference) lost to Central 49-14 last week as the Dutch scored 42 unanswered after Simpson took an early 14-7 lead. The Kohawks (9-0, 7-0) were off last week, marking Simpson's fourth-straight game against an opponent coming off a bye. Ranked 12th in the AFCA Coaches Poll and 15th in the D3football.com Poll, Coe wrapped up the IIAC title two weeks ago.
Saturday marks the 41st meeting between Simpson and Coe in a series that began in 1910. The Kohawks lead the all-time series 25-14-1, but the Storm have won two of the last three meetings, including an 18-15 triumph last season. Coe has won six in a row against the Storm in Indianola, with Simpson's last home win coming in 2001.
ON THE AIR
Back again this season, all Simpson football games can be heard on KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM and online at KNIAKRLS.com. You can also download the KNIA app on iTunes and Google's Play Store. Andrew Swadner will have the call with Rick Wilson providing the color commentary.
Radio: KNIA 1320 AM/95.3 FM
Live Audio: www.kniakrls.com
Live Video: www.simpsonathletics.com
Live Stats: www.simpsonathletics.com
"We know they're a good football team, but we're a good football team too when we play well in all phases. This is a heavyweight fight, it's the 15th round and we're up against the ropes. I want to see how much fight the Storm have against Coe." — head coach, Matt Jeter.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Having wrapped up the Iowa Conference title and a trip to the NCAA Playoffs two weeks ago, Coe moves its sights to a sixth undefeated season in school history. The Kohawks boast one of the top offenses in the nation predicated on a punishing running game and an efficient passing attack. Coe averages more than 500 yards of offense per game, getting almost 270 of that on the ground. Scoring 41.9 points per game, Coe takes care of the ball as well as anyone in the nation, committing just 10 turnovers in 2016. Coe's plus-13 turnover margin is 10th-best in Division III.
• Coe's roster features league MVP candidates on both sides of the ball in senior running back Trevor Heitland and senior cornerback Dylan Stepleton. Used primarily as a receiver in 2015, Heitland leads the IIAC and ranks fifth in the nation with 1,381 rushing yards and is trying to become just the fourth player in school history to surpass 1,500 yards in a season. Stepleton is the top pass defender in the league and ranks second in the nation with eight INTs, two of which he has returned for TDs.
• Saturday's game features two of the top field goal kickers in the country in Simpson's Drew Jensen and Coe's Brandon Abbas. Both have set school single-season records this year for made field goals with Jensen going 11-for-12 and Abbas going 12-for-13. Both rank in the top five in Division III in field goal percentage and both are in the top 20 in field goals per game. The lone miss for Abbas was a 22-yarder against Luther on Oct. 22 and his long for the season is 34 yards. Jensen's lone miss was a 46-yarder against Buena Vista on Sept. 24 and his long is 39 yards.
• A total of 19 seniors will run out of Hopper Gym and onto the turf at Buxton Stadium for the final time Saturday afternoon. This year's senior class includes: Chuck Adolph, Taylor Ashman, Blake Beard, Jordan Beem, Daniel Beitelspacher, Jon Burgardt, Matt Burrell, Cody Carlson, Cole Cook, Isaac Frazier, Dustin Ihns, Adrean Johnson-Wigley, Mark Milbrandt, Devin Norman, Jose Perez, Nathan Russell, Justin Shepherd, Patrick Steffen and Josh Wilson.
• Barring huge days from a handful of defensive players around the Iowa Conference, Storm defensive end Isaac Frazier will close the season as the league-leader in sacks for the second straight year. The 6-4, 215-pound senior leads the Iowa Conference with 10.5 sacks, 4.5 more than Buena Vista's Jake Staudt, his closest challenger in the league. He ranks 13th in the country in sacks and also leads the IIAC with 14 tackles for loss. Frazier's five forced fumbles this season are the third-most in the country and tied for second in school history. He set Simpson's career record for forced fumbles when he collected his eighth in last week's game, ranks fourth with 18.5 career sacks and ranks sixth with 25.5 tackles for loss.
Senior running back Jordan Beem needs 149 yards to become the fifth 3,000-yard rusher in school history. He enters Saturday's game with 2,851 but has been held to 32 yards on 19 carries over the last two weeks … although he doesn't meet the minimum number of punts per game to be considered among the national rankings, Nathan Hawkins' 48.8-yard average would be tops in Division III by a whole yard … wide receiver Jackson Redmond has developed into Simpson's big-play threat, as 74 percent of his catches have resulted in first downs or touchdowns in 2016 … Braden Meints has become a jack-of-all trades for the Storm in 2016. He has a team-high five TDs (four rushing, one receiving), has lined up at receiver, running back and fullback, leads the team with seven tackles on special teams and has recovered an onside kick.