INDIANOLA, Iowa -- The Tanner Krueger and Sam Bartlett tandem proved to be the spark the Storm offense needed as they won 27-23 over the University of Chicago Saturday afternoon inside Bill Buxton Stadium.
The duo connected for 188 yards through the air and three touchdowns to help Simpson (1-1) even its record at the end of nonconference play. Krueger ended with 331 yards on 24-for-41 passing, while Bartlett grabbed eight receptions and had a long of 47-yards down the far sideline to open up the scoring in the first quarter.
After the Storm marched 74-yards to go ahead 7-0, the Maroons (0-2) cut the deficit down to 7-3 with a field goal to open the second quarter. Simpson answered in no time with a 75-yard drive to break it open at 14-3. Bartlett and Krueger teamed up for plays of 38, 15 and 19-yards to answer Chicago's field goal.
The Maroons went on a eight-play drive to make it 14-9 game with two minutes left in the half. The Storm had the visitors stopped at third-and-16, but a pass interference call on Simpson kept the drive alive. With just over two minutes left in the half, Krueger added to his completion lists with four tosses and helped get the ball to the 23-yard line, where Zach Kreider connected on a career long of 40 yards to send it into halftime at 17-9.
Chicago punched it in from the 3-yard line in the third to make it a one-point game at 17-16. On the ensuing drive, Joe McNally brought in a 23-yard reception on third-and-2 to move the chains. While the ball made its way to the Chicago 17, Bartlett grabbed another touchdown from his classmate to widen the gap to 24-16.
Just three plays later, the Maroons were able to score after a 66-yard touchdown run brought the game to within one for the second time.
As the fourth quarter started, Simpson was getting ready to score with a first-and-goal at the 5-yard line, but an errant pass was intercepted by Chicago to flip the momentum. The Storm defense rallied and were able to force a turnover just three plays later after Brendan Holmes hit the Maroon quarterback to force a loose ball, allowing Quinn Slaven to scoop it up at the 15-yard line.
Kreider added to his perfect line and connected on a 35-yard field goal to make it 27-23, where the game would stay for the remainder. Simpson had another opportunity to put points on the board, but the Chicago defense was able to corral another Krueger pass near the goal line.
On the defensive side of the ball, Holmes paced the team with 11 tackles, while Michael Connor and Slaven added 10 each.
• Bartlett tallied a career high of 188 yards with today's performance. He previously grabbed a career-best last week at Bethel with 119 yards.
• Krueger had a career-high as well with 331 yards, surpassing 329 from last year's game at Wartburg. The QB now has three career 300-yard performances.
The Storm begin American Rivers Conference play with a 6 p.m. contest at Dubuque next Saturday, Sept. 21.