INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Simpson's defense held Wartburg to its lowest-scoring outing of the season, but could not pull off the upset and lost, 29-15, inside Buxton Stadium during homecoming weekend for Storm football.
The Knights (7-0, 5-0 A-R-C) were averaging 51.8 points per contest while heading into today's matchup as Simpson (4-2, 3-1 A-R-C) forced four punts and tallied one interception to keep the visitors from hitting their average.
Quarterback Tanner Krueger connected on 30 of his 47 attempts during the game and used five different receivers to throw for 367 yards. Freshman Reed Worth had nine grabs for a team-high 88 yards, while Ben Schiltz had five receptions for 82 yards out of the backfield. Sam Bartlett ended with 79 yards and one TD. Noah Bruckner ran for 105 yards on 26 carries.
The Storm were set to remain undefeated in American Rivers Conference play after going up 9-0 before the first quarter expired. Zach Kreider put points on the board early with a 20-yard field goal and Bartlett added a TD grab with less than two minutes to go in the quarter to add to the lead. Krueger rifled a 19-yard pass to Bartlett for the score.
Prior to Bartlett's score, Wartburg was looking to take the lead with a pass into the endzone, but a deflected pass found its way into Brendan Holmes' hands for the interception. Holmes was able to return the pick for 23 yards to set up the scoring drive for Simpson.
With the game at 9-0, the Knights scored 90 seconds into the second quarter to bridge the gap on a 17-yard pass play. Less than six minutes later, Wartburg added another TD, this time on a 20-yard pass from Noah Dodd to Kolin Schulte to make it 14-9.
Neither team scored for the next 28 minutes of game action until Simpson found the endzone once again at the 8:31 mark in the fourth. Worth tallied his first score of his young career on a 9-yard pass from Krueger to give Simpson a one-point lead at 15-14 in the final stanza.
Wartburg retaliated with a score four plays later to take the lead for good at 22-15. The Knights added another score for some breathing room with a 1-yard plunge at the goal line to put them up 29-15 and remain undefeated for the year.
• Bartlett is now second in the conference with 11 TDs, just one behind Schulte.
• Holmes is currently 21 tackles shy of the tying Simpson's career-leader Jarrod Young, who had 339 from 1993-96.
• The Storm are now 50-50-5 in homecoming contests in program history.
Simpson heads to Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Saturday, Oct. 26 for an conference clash with Coe. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.