A must-win game between two, 2-1 teams

by Aaron Young

Beginning conference play Oct. 5, the Simpson football team will take its talents to Waverly and battle Wartburg on the gridiron.

The Storm have won that past two decisions over the Knights in dramatic fashion, winning 38-37 in OT in 2011 and 20-19 in 2012.

Both Wartburg (2-1) and Simpson (2-1) are coming to the contest off bye weeks. The Knights defeated Carthage 27-10 in its most recent game on Sept. 21, while the Storm were victorious over UW-River Falls 35-34.

Simpson head coach Jim Glogowski expects Wartburg to be a hostile environment.

“I think that they are a football team that will probably be the best football team we’ve seen at this point,” Glogowski said. “It’s the first conference game so I expect everyone to be jacked up and ready to go just from the standpoint of everyone wanting to be 1-0.”

Glogowki added that Wartburg’s quarterbacks have been a huge part of the Knights’ success thus far, as they rotate both sophomore Logan Schrader and senior Taylor Jacobsmeier in the mix. Through the air, Schrader is the more dominant of the two, as the sophomore has completed 40-66 passes for 457 yards and four touchdowns. Jacobsmeier is the more dominant rusher under center, as he leads the team with 149 yards rushing on 19 attempts for two touchdowns.

Wartburg’s leading true running back is sophomore Brandon Domeyer. Domeyer has three trips to the end zone off 143 yards on 44 attempts.

The Knights’ leading receiver is Donald Miller, catching 18 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns. The junior is averaging about 75 yards per game and is averaging about 12.5 yards per catch.

Defensively, Glogowski thinks the Knights will be very aggressive and will blitz often.

“They’ll get in our face, force us to make plays,” Glogowski said. “We need to take care of the football and not beat ourselves.”

A duo of seniors and a trio of juniors lead the Knights’ defense. Senior defensive back Jared Wauters has 16 tackles on the year while senior linebacker Ryan Billings leads the team with his 24 tackles. Billings also leads the team with 5 tackles for loss. Junior Drew Kool is second on the team with his 23 tackles, junior defensive back Skylar Dierikx has 15 tackles and junior defensive back Spencer Capitani has 17.5 tackles.

Capitani was the Iowa Conference defensive player of the week for his performance against Carthage. The junior recorded a team-high and career-best ten tackles, an interception and two pass break-ups in the Wartburg victory.

Glogowski noted that as Simpson heads into its conference season, the Storm’s non-conference games have prepared themselves very well, especially from the defensive side of things. 

“We’ve seen several mobile quarterbacks in our first three games preparing us very well for the conference slate,” Glogowski said.

When comparing its non-conference opponents with Wartburg, Glogowski compared Gustavus Adolphus and UW-River Falls’ offense to the same style of the Knights’ play.

When comparing Wartburg’s defense to its opponents, Glogowski couldn’t. 

“It’s hard to say because Wartburg is a lot like us defensively with four-down linemen with more zone pressure than anthing else,” Glogowski said. “The reality is that we’re fortunate to have seen a couple of teams the last two weeks that were very similar to what we are going to see, at least this week in conference play.”

Kickoff for Simpson vs. Wartburg will begin at 1 p.m. Follow @SimpAthletics for tweet-by-tweet updates of the game, using the hashtags #WeAreSC, #IIAC and #d3fb.