/seasons/2013/contrib/201309220u66ek

Big fourth quarter lifts Simpson to dramatic win

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INDIANOLA, Iowa – Taylor Nelson plunged into the end zone from a yard out on fourth-and-goal with 22 seconds left as the Simpson football team came back from nine down in the fourth quarter to beat UW-River Falls 35-34 on Saturday.

The third time was a charm for Nelson, who was stopped short after minimal gains on second and third down. He appeared to be stood up again on fourth down, but a second surge sent him across the goal line as the Storm (2-1) held on after giving up a 17-point, first half lead.

Despite being stopped two plays before, head coach Jim Glogowski had no doubts about what play to call on fourth down.

"The only question was what formation we would run out of," Glogowski said. "That play has been good to us. It was a little tense when he got stood up, but he was able to spin in."

Nelson threw for 240 yards, ran for 58 and shook off a fourth-quarter interception deep in Simpson territory which allowed River Falls to take a 34-29 lead. He threw for one score and ran for two more, the passing strike coming on a 76-yarder to Brad Vogel in the fourth quarter which extended his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 21.

Nelson – who went 20-for-29 through the air – threw two interceptions on the day and was involved in a fumble on a center-to-quarterback exchange, but when the game was on the line, the ball was in his hands.

"He makes us go," Glogowski said. "All things considered, with four minutes to go he marched us down to score the winning touchdown. We put the ball in his hands, and that says everything we can about how we feel putting the game on his shoulders."

Vogel responded nicely after being held in check in last week's loss to Gustavus Adolphus, making eight catches for 115 yards.

As impressive as his body of work was offensively, his play on special teams proved crucial. Given only two chances to return kickoffs thanks to a series of squib and directional kicks by River Falls, Vogel set up the final drive with a big, 34-yard return that put the ball at Simpson's own 48.

"That was huge," Glogowski said. "He's so electric, we know we have to block for him when he gets a chance to return. He's always a threat to score."

Thanks to three, second-quarter scores, Simpson raced out to a comfortable 17-0 lead. Brian Schaaf connected on a 29-yard field goal, Cole Wigert returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown and Nelson had a 13-yard touchdown run as Simpson sat in the driver's seat.

But River Falls quarterback Ryan Kusilek had other ideas. The sophomore led a spirited comeback by the Falcons (0-3), who came into the contest with losses to MIAC powerhouses St. Johns and St. Thomas. Kusilek threw two touchdown passes to Jordan Christianson, one to Jake Ryan and added a 34-yard scoring scamper for a 28-17 lead early in the fourth.

A four-yard touchdown run by Michael Chia followed by a three-and-out by River Falls set up Nelson's 76-yard strike to Vogel, as Simpson took a 29-28 lead. Two-point conversion attempts on both scores came up empty.

It looked as though the Storm wrapped up the win on the next drive when safety Sean DeGoey intercepted Kusilek on the Simpson 2-yard line, but Nelson returned the favor when he was picked off by Tyler Ledbeter just three plays later. Kusilek found Christianson from 11 yards out for a 34-29 lead.

"We certainly kept it interesting," Glogowski said. "It's nice to see the kids hang in there. A similar thing happened last week, so it was nice to see them respond. We're a couple plays away from being 3-0, and a couple away from 1-2."

The secondary had a big day for Simpson, intercepting Kusilek three times. Wigert's went for a touchdown and another – by Russ Fairfield in the first quarter – went to the house as well before being called back due to a hold on the return. It marked Simpson's first, three-interception game since 2011.

Dillan Hamilton led the defense with 11 tackles while Clay Finley had eight and four tackles for loss.

Kusilek finished 344 yards and four touchdowns through the air and 135 yards and a touchdown on the ground as River Falls out-gained Simpson 520-370 on the day.

Simpson goes into the bye week on a high note and opens Iowa Conference play Oct. 5 at Wartburg.

Oct. 13: All times Eastern
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Bridgewater State 24, at Mass-Dartmouth 22
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at UW-Whitewater 21, UW-La Crosse 14
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Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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at Thomas More 59, Waynesburg 7
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at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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at Hope 22, Adrian 3
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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at Cal Lutheran 42, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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