Storm football beats Wartburg in OT


Photo contributed by Rob Peters.

by Gunnar Davis, Sports Editor

Trailing by seven points at Wartburg in overtime on Sept. 29, the Simpson football team lined up on fourth-and-ten from the 25 yard line. Junior quarterback Tanner Krueger escaped pressure and flipped the ball to senior running back Cam Bunting. Bunting made two defenders miss and scored.

That fourth down wasn’t even the craziest play.

Head Coach Matt Jeter and Offensive Coordinator James Hoffman opted to go for two to win the game. The storm offense ran a play similar to one the Philadelphia Eagles ran in the Super Bowl, and the play was executed to perfection.

Krueger took the snap and handed it to Bunting, who flipped it to senior wide receiver Austin Hronich. Hronich threw the ball to Krueger, who tiptoed in the end zone for the score. Simpson delivered a walk-off win, beating the defending conference champions 37-36.

“Just really a thrill for the players,” Jeter said. “The guys really executed offensively, defensively and special teams. We needed every phase to contribute that game. It was a big win for the program, and I think it’s just the start.”

Once the game went into overtime, Jeter and Hoffman knew they would try for two instead of tying.

“When we got into overtime and we needed a score to tie it and potentially win it with a play, I talked with coach Jeter to confirm we’re going for two,” Hoffman said. “I told him this is what we’re going to do. The guys executed the hell out of it.”

The Storm move to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in American Rivers Conference play.

Pivotal Points

  • After an interception on the first drive of the game that led to a touchdown, special teams delivered. Wartburg sophomore punt returner JoJo McNair muffed a punt and junior Parker Schenk recovered for the Storm. This gave the offense a short field, allowing them to capitalize on a Bunting touchdown run, evening the score at seven a piece.
  • Krueger hit fellow Waverly-Shell Rock alum, wide receiver Joe McNally twice for touchdowns in the first half. The Storm went into halftime up 21-17.
  • After scoring a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, the Wartburg offense scored again in the fourth quarter. Sophomore defensive end Chris Bowles blocked the extra point and junior safety Ryan Lehr picked the ball up and returned it 98 yards for two points in Simpson’s favor. In a three point swing, the Storm found themselves down 29-23.
  • With two minutes left, the Storm offense drove 98 yards down the field and scored when Krueger hit sophomore defensive lineman Jack Bootsmiller from three yards out. After a missed extra point, Simpson and Wartburg headed into overtime tied at 29.

Looking ahead to Homecoming

  • The Storm take on Coe College (3-2, 2-1) this Saturday Oct. 6. Jeter is 1-1 in against the Kohawks in his time at Simpson. Last season, Simpson traveled to Coe and beat the defending conference champions 38-33.
  • After back-to-back 150-plus yards rushing games, Bunting only rushed for 43 yards against the Knights. He will be up for a tall task Saturday, as the Kohawks bring in the second best rushing defense in the ARC.
  • Krueger and Lehr were named ARC players of the week for their performance Saturday. Expect the two players to bring their A-game again this weekend.