The Simpson College football team's defense went into it's key Iowa Conference matchup with BVU here Saturday giving up just 12.2 points per game.
Well, the Storm's stats will look even better next week.
Led by 13 quarterback sacks, including four from Newell-Fonda alum Derek Ripke, the Storm stonewalled the BVU offense and scored enough points to win in a 17-7 victory.
The loss broke a five-game winning streak for the Beavers and dropped BVU to 5-2 overall and to 5-1 in the Iowa Conference. The Storm improved to 5-2 overall and to 4-2 in IIAC play.
Simpson scored all it needed in the first half, when it put up all 17 points.
BVU coach Steve Osterberger said two first-half turnovers were key in the contest.
Running back Chad Pearson's fumble recovered by Simpson gave the Storm a short field in the first quarter and a Simpson interception in the second frame led to the same. Simpson turned each turnover into seven points.
"Simpson has a great defense, and we're not taking anything away from them, but we obviously didn't play our best game," said Osterberger. "I'm not sure we matched the intensity that their kids played with.
"The turnovers were the key, and overall, I thought our defense played a great game. It would have been nice if we would have made them drive the whole field instead of giving them scoring chances.
"Offensively, we just didn't give our quarterback enough time to throw and that's a team thing," he added. "We just didn't execute the way we wanted to."
The Simpson defense certainly did. The Storm limited BVU to just 168 yards of total offense on 73 plays. That included just 46-yards rushing and 214 passing, but aided by pressure from the Storm defense, Simpson picked off three passes.
The Storm got on the board early, taking advantage of a BVU turnover.
The Beavers lost the toss and because of a strong west wind, the Storm deferred and let BVU receive the opening kickoff.
BVU took over at their own 20 on the game's opening possession and several players later, Simpson's Kirk Sneiderman got a hand on the ball as Pearson was running through traffic, forcing a fumble.
The Storm took over at the BVU 33. On a third and six play from the 19-yard line, Storm quarterback Scott McCarty found All-American wide receiver Dusty Kain down the middle of the field and he ran to the right pylon of the end zone, just getting in. After the PAT kick, Simpson led 7-0 with just three minutes, six seconds elapsed.
Both defenses played well throughout the rest of the quarter as the Storm took their 7-0 lead into the second frame.
The Storm got a 29-yard field goal from Sean Smith early in the second quarter, capping a drive that started at the Simpson 45 with 2:26 left in the first quarter.
On its next possession, BVU marched from its own 20 to its own 44. But on a third and eight situation from that point, BVU quarterback Craig Novacek's pass was picked off near the left sideline by Eric Hentges, who made an eight-yard return to the BVU 45.
"We just weren't consistent on offense, and they shut our running game down," added Osterberger. "Balance is always a key to any offense and we didn't have it. We found ourselves in a lot of second and third and long situations. We put ourselves in tough situations."
Simpson, meanwhile, took advantage of the BVU turnover and the short field. On a third and 15 play from the Beaver 33, McCarty found receiver Trent Kain on a 13-yard gain, still two yards short of the first down.
On fourth down, McCarty found Dusty Kain in the right flats and he swerved his way past several BVU defenders for a 20-yard scoring play.
Simpson took it's 17-0 lead into the half.
Defense dominated the second half as both teams had a difficult time moving the ball. Late in the third quarter, BVU drove to the Simpson 28 but a holding penalty and a sack snuffed out the drive.
Osterberger opted to punt and Chris Kemmerer pinned the Storm back to its own 7-yard line. On a second and eight from his own nine, McCarty's pass was intercepted by BVU All-American linebacker Michael Irvin, who returned it to the Simpson 19.
Several plays later on a third and goal from the Storm 3-yard line, running back T.J. Miller plunged in for BVU's only touchdown of the game. Ryan Hutton made the PAT as the Beavers were within 17-7 with 14:56 left in the fourth quarter.
BVU never threatened to score after that; their deepest penetration into Simpson territory in the final frame was the 43-yard line.
"We just have to hit it hard this week in practice and regroup a little bit," Osterberger said. "Hopefully, we learned some lessons from the loss."
The BVU defense held Simpson to just 73 yards rushing. McCarty connected on 32 of 78 passes for 181 yards.
Novacek finished by completing 22 of 41 passes for 214 yards.
The BVU football team takes to the road Saturday when it travels to Dubuque for a matchup with Dubuque University.