DUBUQUE, Iowa -- Senior Sam Bartlett made history on Saturday by grabbing his 15th TD reception of the season for a new program record, but Simpson football could not hang on to an early lead and lost 38-20 at Loras in American Rivers Conference action.
Bartlett came into the contest needing three TD catches to surpass Dusty Kain's record of 14 set during the 2003 campaign and hit the mark with nine minutes left in the first half for the Storm (4-5, 3-4 A-R-C) to etch his name atop the record books.
Simpson's offense went stagnant after Bartlett's last TD as the Duhawks (5-4, 4-3 A-R-C) erupted for 31 unanswered points to grab their first win in the series since 2015. Loras' defense pressured quarterback Tanner Krueger all afternoon with five sacks and four interceptions to shut out the Storm during the final 39:30 of game action.
After forcing Loras to punt on its opening drive, the Storm marched down the field to open the scoring at 7-0. A 32-yard reception by Reed Worth set the ball at the Duhawks' 9-yard line, Bartlett brought in his first TD grab of the day two plays later from a pass by Krueger.
Krueger and Bartlett connected on another touchdown two drives later after the Simpson defense forced two punts before the score. Austin Bell scampered 51 yards on a screen pass to move the ball into the red zone before Bartlett tied Kain's record with a 17-yard reception near the left pylon in the endzone.
The Storm looked set to score once more after recovering a Loras fumble at the 50-yard line near the start of the second quarter. Reed Worth caught a Krueger pass at Loras' 21-yard marker, but a Duhawk defender punched the ball out to trade turnovers just one play after they committed the miscue. The hosts would score eight plays later to cut the deficit down to 14-7.
The duo of Krueger and Bartlett responded with another touchdown to widen the gap to 20-7 after Bartlett raced 70 yards for a score to clinch the record with 9:33 remaining in the first half. Loras would then crawl back with two scores before halftime to take a 21-20 tilt and never looked back.
Coming out of halftime, Terrhyn Jacoby returned the kickoff for a touchdown but it was called back due to a block in the back, allowing Loras to keep the lead.
The Duhawks would add to their lead in the third quarter with a 72-yard interception return for a score and a field goal before punching one in from the 5-yard line in the fourth for some breathing room.
Bartlett ended with 148-yards receiving on eight grabs, while Krueger tossed for 392 yards on 25-of-42 passing. On the defensive side, Michael Connor had 14 tackles for his fourth straight game of at least 14 takedowns. Brendan Holmes and Chris Bowles each had nine tackles.
• This was Bartlett's third game of the year with three TD catches. The senior only had two scores over his last three games combined. Bartlett currently has 1,124 yards receiving this season.
• Krueger distributed the ball to five receivers during the game while four had at least five receptions. He also went over 5,000-yards passing in his career with the performance.
• Connor is now nine tackles shy of reaching 100 for the second straight season and six short of 300 for his career.
• As a unit, the Storm suffered 129 yards in penalties for their most in a game since tallying 134 on Sept. 11, 2010 against St. Olaf.
Simpson closes out the 2019 season with senior day on Saturday, Nov. 16 against Luther (1-8, 1-6 A-R-C). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. inside Buxton Stadium.