Next two matchups are key for Simpson’s playoff spot

by Aaron Young

Getting victories over Central on Homecoming and in Dubuque against Loras this past weekend were huge in regards to momentum for the Simpson football team.

They’ll need all the momentum they can get, as the Storm face Coe and Dubuque in the next two weekends of play.

This portion of the schedule is essentially considered as the meat-and-bones of the conference standings, as the next few games will decide which team will finish in second, third or fourth in the Iowa Conference. Wartburg (5-1, 3-0 IIAC) is currently sitting in the top position of the standings, while Dubuque (4-2, 3-0) is in second, Coe (5-1, 2-1) is in third and Simpson (4-2, 2-1) is in fourth.

Wartburg, Dubuque and Coe have received votes in the national polls, as ranked by

In their 27-10 victory over Loras, Simpson was carried by freshman running back Jordan Beem and his three touchdowns on 108 yards rushing. The Storm running attack was unstoppable, as Simpson ran for 234 yards compared to Loras’ 121, granted the Storm had almost 35 minutes time of possession while the Duhawks at about 25 minutes.

Senior quarterback Taylor Nelson threw for 191 yards (22-for-31) and scored one touchdown on the ground, totaling 73 yards off 20 carries. Without throwing a touchdown pass however, Nelson needs three touchdown passes to become Simpson’s all-time leader, surpassing current record-holder Mike Donnenworth’s total of 66.

Looking at Simpson’s opponent for this Saturday, Coe fell victim of a 38-14 loss against Dubuque. The Spartans spoiled the Kohawks’ Homecoming game with the upset.

At quarterback, Josh Rekers will likely be the one under center taking the snaps for the Kohawks. The sophomore has thrown for 1,031 yards on the year so far (82-for-125), throwing seven touchdown passes and two interceptions. His go-to receivers through the air have been a trio of wide receivers in senior Keaton Juergens, sophomore Elijah Phillips and junior Nicholas Lenstra. Juergens leads the team with 389 yards receiving off 30 receptions for one touchdown. Phillips has recorded 176 yards off 21 catches for two touchdowns and Lenstra has 149 yards off just nine catches and two touchdown grabs.

Senior fullback Gage Mohs leads the team on the ground, rushing for 439 yards thus far off 109 attempts. Mohs has made three touchdown runs in the end zone and is averaging about 86 yards per game.

Controlling the Coe defensive side of the ball is senior safety Jordan Atwater, senior safety Logan Keehner and junior linebacker Gaetano Tarantino. Atwater leads the team in tackles with 34 (20 solo, 14 assisted) with Keehner ranking behind his teammate with 27 to his liking (17 solo, 10 assisted). Tarantino has notched 26 tackles on the season and leads the team with two forced fumbles.

Senior cornerback Antoine Allen-Jackson leads the team with three interceptions, also recording one pick-six.

As a unit, the Kohwak defense is one of the best in the league, limiting their opponents to an average of 12.3 points per game and about 300 yards per game as well. Their pass defense is only averaging about 167 yards per game, whereas Simpson is averaging about 239 yards.

Kickoff for the game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Following @SimpAthletics on Twitter for tweet-by-tweet updates of the game, using the hashtags #d3fb and #WeAreSC.