More than just bragging rights will be on the line in Pella when arch rivals Central and Simpson collide on Saturday. The winner will take sole possession of the lead in the American Rivers Conference race. Central is 4-0 in the league race and Simpson is 3-0.
“I was part of some of those games in 1996 and 1997 as a player and this is the first time in my three years as head coach there has been this much on the line”, said Simpson coach Matt Jeter. “It is still early in the season but we are undefeated in the league and they are undefeated so we are excited to play this game.”
After opening the season with a nonconference loss to Bethel of Minnesota the Storm have ripped off four straight victories and one of the reasons is the play of special teams that have created several big plays.
“They have gotten two fumbles in two games in a row off of a kickoff and those are lost series for an offense”, said Central coach Jeff McMartin. “When you turn the film on of Simpson you see a team that gives great effort and is really well coached. Those things show up in a lot of areas and one of them is special teams.”
The Dutch are 6-0 overall and ranked 20th in Division III and one of the factors has been red zone production. The defense is yielding only 14 points per game and opponents have only scored nine touchdowns in 21 trips inside the 20-yard line.
“They don’t let people score”, added Jeter. “It is a bend but don’t break mentality. Opponents are settling for field goals or they are getting turnovers in the red zone and on offense they are opposite.”
The Central offense has scored 22 touchdowns on 23 trips inside the red zone.
The Dutch have won the last four games against the Storm and lead the all-time series 63-29-2.