INDIANOLA, Iowa - Justin Spaulding scored three touchdowns on the ground, Michael Zweifel caught three touchdown passes and No. 24 Dubuque beat Simpson 42-21 on Saturday at Buxton Stadium.
Owning the Iowa Conference's most prolific offense, the Spartans (5-0, 3-0 Iowa Conference) showed good balance on Saturday. Dubuque amassed 532 total yards, gaining 290 through the air and 242 on the ground.
The Storm (1-4, 1-2) had trouble establishing a running game, gaining only 20 yards on the ground.
"They ran the ball well and we didn't run the ball very well," Simpson head coach Jim Glogowski said. "If you can't stop the run and you can't run the ball successfully, you're going to have a long afternoon."
Spaulding ran for 192 yards, Zweifel caught 13 passes for 181 yards and quarterback Wyatt Hanus completed 22 of 27 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns.
"Between the quarterback, the receiver and the tailback, they out-exectued us," Glogowski said.
Dubuque answered the very next drive when Spaulding's second touchdown run made the score 28-14. Simpson's ensuing drive ended when Trevor Kinnett intercepted Nelson.
"At that point we needed to respond and we didn't," Glogowski said. "That's where the game turned.
"When you have opportunities to stay in the game against a good football team that's 4-0, if you don't capitalize it could be a long afternoon and that's what happened."
Nelson threw for 250 yards on 25-for-35 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Taylor Rogers made five catches for 56 yards and Brad Vogel had a touchdown grab. Deion Lewis gained a team-high 56 yards on six carries late in the game and Michael Chia ran for 32 yards before leaving the game with a leg injury in the third quarter.
Hanus and Zweifel hooked up for their third touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and a 26-yard touchdown run by Spaulding gave the Spartans a 42-14 lead.
Lewis's 36-yard run highlighted the final drive Simpson, which ended in a two-yard plunge by the freshman.
Simpson looks to get back in the win column next week when it hosts Cornell for homecoming at Buxton Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.