September 1, 2012

Storm use big plays to win season opener

More news about: Simpson

RIVER FALLS, Wis. – Taylor Nelson threw for a career-high 398 yards, Brad Vogel scored three touchdowns and the Simpson football team made big plays in key situations in a 31-22 win over UW-River Falls on Saturday afternoon.

Nelson and Vogel hooked up on touchdown passes of 42, 37 and 22 yards and Nelson added a 72-yard completion toBilly Weathers as the Storm (1-0) survived some tense moments to win their first season-opener since 2008.

"Any time you win the opener, you have to feel good about it," fifth-year head coach Jim Glogowski said. "It gives us momentum and confidence. Our guys played hard and gave tremendous effort. [UW-River Falls] is a big, physical team that's seen the mountaintop in [national champion] UW-Whitewater. We are very happy with a win today."

Trailing 10-7 in the second quarter, Simpson had its back to the goal line as the Falcons (0-1) were in the midst of a 70-yard drive and knocking on the door with 2nd and goal from the 1.

Ryan Kusilek's second down pass was deflected and an alert Ben Borland snagged the ball off the stomach of a Falcons player for an interception, ending the threat.

Four plays later the momentum switch was complete, as on 3rd and 6 from the 6, Nelson connected on a 72-yard pass play to Weathers. A screen pass to Vogel on the next play resulted in a 22-yard touchdown, turning what could have been a 17-7 deficit into a 14-10 lead.

Vogel caught six passes for a career-high 141 yards and carried once for 19 yards.

"It was a classic first game," Glogowski said. "Both teams made some mistakes. But what I loved was that we played a lot of guys, we played with passion and most importantly, we responded when we had to."

A touchdown run by Michael Chia extended the lead to 21-10 and what appeared would be a comfortable halftime lead.

But Vogel mishandled a punt on the ensuing drive, allowing Kuselik to plunge in from a yard out to make the score 21-16 at the half after failing on the point-after attempt.

Kuselik went 21-for-35 for 225 yards through the air, splitting time with Caleb Hanson who went 11 of 19 for 119. John Wahlstrom made 12 catches for 112 yards and Brad Beeskow carried 12 times for 64 yards for the Falcons.

Logan Klein tacked on a 24-yard field goal in the third quarter to make the score 24-16 but the Falcons responded with a touchdown run by Malcom Wilson early in the fourth. Trailing by two, River Falls attempted a two-point conversion but safety Grant Focht broke up the pass.

Vogel dealt the final blow when he split the seam on a 42-yard touchdown reception with 6:20 left, giving the Storm a nine-point edge.

After closing the 2011 season 4-1, Simpson has now won 5 of its last 6 dating back to last year.

"We picked up where we left off in terms of playing hard and trying to execute," Glogowski said. "We were rusty but threw the ball well and adjusted well defensively throughout the game."

Despite throwing for nearly 400 yards, Simpson struggled to move the ball on the ground, finishing with -1 yard rushing due in large-part to five sacks against Nelson.

The Storm also lost 3 of 4 fumbles, but made enough big plays to offset the mistakes.

Taylor Rogers didn't find the endzone on Saturday but did catch seven passes for 114 yards, including a clutch 40-yard grab on the sidelines which set up Klein's third-quarter field goal.

Defensively, Simpson sacked UWRF quarterbacks four times. Linebacker Mark Cronin had one of those sacks and two tackles for loss, finishing with 10 tackles. Corey Sterling made eight takles and broke up a pass and Borland broke up two passes to go along with his pick. Scott Vierow had a sack and a forced fumble.

The Storm open the home schedule Saturday, Sept. 8 when they host Gustavus Adolphus at Buxton Stadium. The Gusties were off on opening week.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Marietta at Denison
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
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