Storm outplay No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan

by Brock Borgeson, Sports Editor

INDIANOLA, Iowa – A combination of a clock-eating offense, resilient defense, and a clean kicking job by freshman Drew Jensen gave Simpson a 13-3 win over no. 21, Illinois Wesleyan (2-1) on Saturday.

Simpson (3-0) held a Titans team that had averaged 37.5 points per game to only a field goal, breaking Illinois Wesleyan’s 22-game winning streak in September games, and ending their seven-year streak of perfect non-conference records.

After Saturday’s game, the Storm defense has only allowed 16 points in three games, while accumulating 78 points of their own.

Simpson got the scoring started with a Jordan Beem 31-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass from the hands of quarterback Dylan Berkey. Berkey finished 12-21 with 156 yards passing. He also threw two interceptions, something Berkey is going to have to sure up before moving into conference play.

Replacing kicker Logan Klein, Freshman Drew Jensen knocked home two field goals, with the first one coming on a 20 yard chip shot at the 4:20 mark in the 3rd quarter. Jensen sealed up the game with a 30-yard field goal with only 3:42 left in the 4th.

Despite allowing more yardage, 347, to the Titans than the Storm racked up, 331, Simpson played smothering defense in their own territory, forcing 3 turnovers on their own side of the field.

A rushing attack shared by Ethan Calvert, Jordan Beem, Dylan Berkey, and Tyler Kenny accounted for 173 yards of Simpson’s total offense and contributed to Simpson’s 36:42 time of possession total. Illinois Wesleyan’s running game was nearly non-existent, as they only tallied 65 yards on the ground.

Patrick Steffen recorded his second interception of the season, while Chris McKinnon and Grant Eller both forced fumbles. Also defensively for the Storm, defensive back Reid Ryan continued with his solid season, racking up 11 tackles; Brandon Abernathy was close behind with nine tackles.

With the win Simpson enters into a three-way tie for first place in the IIAC with Wartburg College and Luther College, who are both 3-0. This is the first time Simpson has started 3-0 since 2003, which also happens to be the last year Simpson earned an NCAA playoff spot.

Simpson takes their bye this weekend before heading to Buena Vista University on Oct. 4 for their conference opener. The Storm won’t return to Indianola until Oct. 18 when they welcome Coe College.