Simpson travels to nationally ranked Wartburg


by Brock Borgeson, Sports Editor

WAVERLY, Iowa – After losing three games in which the Storm have been leading in the fourth quarter, Simpson is now 3-5, on the same pace as its 3-7 season from last year.

Three games back of first place Dubuque, the Storm are eliminated from postseason contention and the Iowa Conference crown.

But proving they’re not the same squad from 2014 is now high on the priority list. 

Beating No. 21 Wartburg in Waverly on Saturday is step one from keeping them from that. 

This won’t be an easy task against the Knights who have the best overall record in the conference at 7-1 and have outscored opponents 102-7 over the past two weeks. 

“I would say that overall, this is a team that knows how to win,” head coach Jim Glogowski said. “Yes, Dubuque beat them, but in those other games they were all seven or eight point games [that they won.]. They won’t get rattled so we have to put pressure on them.”

Simpson’s defense is no stranger to pressure.

Coach Glogowski referred to defensive ends Clay Finley and Isaac Frazier as possibly the best two ends in the league, and there is an argument there.

Frazier leads the league with seven sacks and Finley has four. Frazier has forced four fumbles and platooning defensive end Chris McKinnon has forced two.

All of these guys will need to get into the backfield to disrupt quarterback Logan Schrader and running back Brandon Domeyer.

“Between Domeyer and Schrader, that’s a lot of football between them.”

Domeyer has ran for 13 touchdowns this season while Logan Schrader has aired it out to quietly take the league lead in passing yards with 2,101.

This combo will disguise looks in the backfield and play off an option-read style offense – much like Simpson offensive coordinator Jeff Judge has implemented. 

“They just do some really good things schematically,” Glogowski said. “They’ll either hand off the ball, hang on to it or throw. Kind of like the triple-option off the fake.”

Despite big play capabilities, Wartburg likes to methodically approach each first down and 10 situation.

“I think the biggest thing is you want to get them off-schedule,” Glogowski said. “This is a team that lives off second and three and then third and one, and then they keep the chains moving.”

While Dubuque let Wartburg take a 7-0 lead in the Knights’ only loss this season, the Spartans outscored Wartburg 45-6 the rest of the way. Getting out of the gates hot will be vital for Simpson. 

“Hopefully we can get out early and make some plays and make them beat us,” Glogowski said.

Simpson is 2-3 over the last five with Wartburg, and both of its wins have come by the slimmest of margins. The Storm won 20-19 over Wartburg thanks to a blocked extra-point in 2012, and in 2015 one more big play is what Simpson has been missing in its tight losses.

Maybe that play will come from running back Jordan Beem, who is in pursuit of his sixth straight game of at least 100 rushing yards, or from Drew Jensen, who has hit three field goals of 40 or more yards.

Regardless of who it is, they’ll need a few of them.