On the strength of 250 yards passing from quarterback Matt Pearey and 82 yards rushing from Alex Moss, the Buena Vista football team chalked up a key 41-28 victory over visiting Simpson College on Saturday afternoon in the conference opener for both teams.
BVU got on the board late in the first quarter when Moss punched it through from three yards out, and Zach Kaufman added the PAT, giving the Beavers a 7-0 lead. Then on the ensuing kick-off, Simpson fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Mike Sly right at midfield.
Five plays and 50 yards later Cory Donscheski punched it in from a yard out, and Kaufman's PAT was good, extending the team's lead to 14-0. The highlight of the drive came on the very first play - a 29-yard pass from Pearey to Trent Svendsen down to the Storm 21 yard-line.
Following five straight punts to begin the second quarter, BVU went in front by three touchdowns with just more than two minutes left in the half when Pearey, who completed 18-of-25 attempts, found the end zone from a yard out after setting up the score with a 26-yard pass to Eric Bertelsen which gave BVU a first-and-goal at the one.
The Storm did get on the board before the end of the half after taking the ensuing kick-off and marching 57 yards in five plays and seeing quarterback Travis Dietz hook up with Nick Burden from 16 yards out. The PAT was no good and BVU took a 21-6 lead into the locker room.
Simpson stormed out of the gate to start the second half by taking the first posession and going 78 yards in seven plays, capped off by a Adam Reutzel two-yard rush. The point-after failed and BVU led 21-12.
The Beavers, though, responded on their very next posession by going 70 yards in 10 plays to take a 27-12 advantage when Pearey again punched it in from a yard out. The big play of the drive came on the play before the score when Pearey hooked up with Steven Maguire on a 37-yard completion.
Simpson pulled to with 27-15 right before the end of the third quarter when James Gale connected on a 21-yard field goal attempt with 13 ticks left.
On the very first play of the fourth quarter Bertelsen hauled in his second touchdown pass of the season, this one from 31-yards out, pushing the Beaver lead to 34-15.
After Dietz hooked up with Burden again, this time from 14 yards out, Simpson pulled back to within two scores (34-21) with 13:22 remaining.
The Beavers then put the game out of reach by taking nearly eight minutes off of the clock on the ensuing drive and seeing Donscheski, who totaled 31 yards in the contest, punch it in from a yard out, giving BVU a 41-21 lead with just 5:21 left to play.
Simpson added the game's final points with 2:32 to play as Dietz ran it in from a yard out.
Buena Vista finished the contest with 334 yards of total offense as Simpson tallied 329 yards. The key was that BVU ran 18 more plays in the contest and held the ball for nearly 15 minutes more.
Maguire hauled in seven passes for a career-best 104 yards as Svendsen followed with five catches for 72 yards.
Defensively, Ben Hansen and Todd Schwartz led the way with eight total tackles apiece, as Alan Bladt and Brian Bode chipped in with six. Rahn Franklin intercepted his third pass of the season, while Jared Boysen also picked-off one pass.
Dietz completed 12-of-22 passes for 179 yards and two interceptions for Simpson, while Reutzel carried the ball 19 times for a game-high 113 yards and a touchdown.
Tim and Luke Stover paced the Storm defensively with 10 and nine tackles, respectively.
Buena Vista evens its record at 1-1 and will be on the road for the first time this season when the team travels to Dubuque for an IIAC match-up with the University of Dubuque. Kick-off is slated for 1:00 p.m.