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Storm grab 29-21 road win at Nebraska Wesleyan

Joe Meyer
Joe Meyer

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Joe Meyer raced for 206 yards and one touchdown, Sam Bartlett hauled in two TD catches and Zach Kreider connected on three field goals to help Simpson football give Nebraska Wesleyan its first loss of the season by a score of 29-21 Saturday afternoon during the team's homecoming events in Lincoln, Neb.

After going down 7-0 halfway through the first quarter, the Storm (4-1, 3-0 American Rivers) scored the game's next 20 points to swing the momentum from the Prairie Wolves (3-1, 1-1 A-R-C) to help clip Nebraska Wesleyan's best start to a season since 2006.

With Simpson just down by a TD in the first quarter, Meyer shot out the backfield for a 35-yard run to place the ball onto Nebraska Wesleyan's 30-yard line. The offense was able to get a few more yards, but ultimately left it up to Kreider to get points on the board, who hit a 34-yard field goal to make it 7-3.

The Storm defense forced the Prairie Wolves to punt on the ensuing drive to regain possession and repeated the team's previous drive. Meyer had a 25-yard run to set the team up and Kreider connected on a 27-yard boot to bring the game to within one at 7-6 with less than three minutes left in the first quarter.

As the game was approaching halftime, Simpson finally scored a touchdown, this time coming on the Tanner Krueger to Bartlett connection. Bartlett brought in a 5-yard TD reception to give the team a 13-7 advantage to head into the break. During the drive, the Storm were sitting at 4th-and-5 on the Prairie Wolves' 20-yard line, but a pass interference call on a pass to Bartlett allowed Simpson to keep the ball moving and start at 1st-and-goal on the 5-yard line.

Meyer tallied his only score of the day at the 6:42-minute mark in the third to push the team's lead to 20-7 after a 12-yard scoot. Nebraska Wesleyan fought back several plays later with a score to make it a one-score game once again at 20-14. Kreider hit another field goal to start the fourth to widen the gap once again at 23-14.

With less than five minutes to go in the game and the Prairie Wolves sitting at 3rd-and-8, Nebraska Wesleyan's quarterback Jonathan Curti sailed the ball down the field for a 43-yard TD grab to Kevin Tims to make it a two-point game at 23-21, allowing Curti to grab the program record with 70 career TD passes.

After a failed onside-kick attempt, Simpson scored a couple plays later after Bartlett beat the secondary for a 55-yard TD catch from Seth Howard to give the team some breathing room late in the game at 29-21.

Howard finished with 75 yards passing and 94 yards on the ground, while Krueger tossed for 82 yards on eight completions. Bartlett ended with 10 catches for 150 yards. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Carter Paterson paced the defense with nine tackles and one pass breakup, Brendan Holmes had eight takedowns and one tackle for loss. As a whole, the team had seven tackles for loss and three sacks.

Notes
• Of the team's 11 receptions during the game, Bartlett had 10 of those, which is a new season best for the senior. Barlett now has four games of at least 100-yards receiving and 10 TD grabs this season.
• This is Meyer's first game with over 200-yards rushing and the team's first since Cam Runting ran for 254 yards against Buena Vista on Nov. 10, 2018.
• The defense allowed the Prairie Wolves to only manage 65 yards on the ground on 26 attempts and are allowing 73.3 rushing yards per game during conference play.
• Nebraska Wesleyan was scoring 37.0 points per game before today's contest started as Simpson held the Prairie Wolves to their lowest output of the season.

Up Next
The Storm are off next weekend before returning to action at Buxton Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 19 against Wartburg for the annual Homecoming game. Kickoff is slated for a 1 p.m. start.

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