Simpson rests in bye week before matchup with vengeful Illinois Wesleyan


by Brock Borgeson, Sports Editor

Typically, a week two bye is an unfavorable scheduling situation for a football team. It means nine straight weeks of games – with no bye week.

But for a banged-up Simpson football team headed by a staff with new assignments, it’s come as a blessing, especially as they head to face a formidable Illinois Wesleyan University Titans football team.

During a 28-21 win in week one, the Storm were without starting corner back Reid Ryan, captain and starting defensive end Clay Finley and starting senior wide receiver Corbin Clark.

“They haven’t practiced at all this week so they’ll get back for next week,” head coach Jim Glogowski said. “Some of those guys that have had lingering injuries have some time to heal up.”

Simpson won last year’s matchup 13-3 against the then No. 21 ranked Titans at home. Illinois Wesleyan would flounder the rest of the way going 2-5 to finish 4-6 in 2014. Similarly, it was the Storm’s last win before going on a seven-game losing streak.

“I will expect a team much like us – improved and healthy,” Glogowski said.

Both teams committed three turnovers while the Titans gained more yardage, but the battle was won on the ground as Simpson outrushed Illinois Wesleyan 173-65 while maintaining control of the ball for over 13 more minutes than the Titans.

Illinois Wesleyan appears to have revamped in 2015, getting off to a 2-0 start including a 34-24 win over Franklin College, a notorious conference contender in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“They’ll present a tough challenge,” Glogowski said. “…they opened up with a win over Franklin who has been to the playoffs five straight years and they forced seven turnovers.”

Simpson will make one of their tougher trips of the season, heading five hours to Bloomington, Ill. where they will stay overnight and return the next day.

As it was in week one, the Storm quarterbacking situation will be a two-headed operation. Sophomores Caleb Frye and Sammy Sasso will be under center, with whoever has the hot hand being the one on the field.

Sasso isn’t concerned with an Illinois Wesleyan defense that has forced nine turnovers in the first two games.

“We are not so much looking ahead about them,” Sasso said. “We are looking at ourselves and being the best we can be.”

Keys to the game:

This is the second half of a two-year agreement between the two schools, a relationship that stretches back all the way to 1994.

Simpson will have to play much similar ball to how they played the Titans last year if they want to slow down the high-powered College Conference of Illinois-Wisconsin foes.

“I’m sure they’ll be looking for revenge,” Glogowski said. “We have to go down there and make sure we are not beating ourselves. Win, lose or draw we will play hard. If we win we are 2-0, and if we lose it won’t make or break our season.”