/seasons/2011/contrib/201109117i175w

North Central Bounces Back, Blows Out Bethel

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

A return to the friendly confines of Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium turned out to be just what the North Central College football team needed Saturday night, as the Cardinals rallied after a season-opening loss and torched the Bethel University (Tenn.) Wildcats, 70-26, to put the first mark in the win column in 2011.

North Central matched the fifth-highest single-game scoring output in the program's history and also tied a single-game school record with eight quarterback sacks after managing just one in last week's game at the University of Redlands.

"I think the fans really enjoyed watching this one tonight," said the Cardinals' head coach, John Thorne. "The first quarter, out in California, we played really well, but for whatever reason we started having too many mistakes and mental errors, but that happens a lot of times in the first game.

"We have to keep experimenting with different players and different schemes to make sure that by the time we start playing conference games we'll really know what team we have. I was really proud of them tonight."

It took a series for the Cardinals' offense to get on track, as they punted on the game's opening possession. After receiving a punt from Bethel, North Central began its second series at its own 45. Three plays later, Brad Crackel threw deep and found a wide-open Manny Juarez for a 37-yard touchdown pass. 

The Cardinals' next drive also ended with a punt, but the hosts got a score from the defense on the ensuing Bethel series. On the first play of the drive, Stewart Charles stepped in front of a pass from Wildcat quarterback Wil Masoud and rambled 30 yards to the end zone, doubling North Central's lead with 6:08 left in the opening period.

Bethel (1-1) got its first scoring opportunity on a turnover as well, as Crackel attempted to avoid a sack by throwing the ball away. The ball instead landed in the hands of Wildcat defensive back Chase Graham, who returned it to the Cardinals' three-yard line. On third down at the one-yard line, Masoud dove forward on a quarterback sneak to get the visitors on the board. A fumbled option pitch on the first play of North Central's next drive gave Bethel another short-field opportunity, but the Wildcats had to settle for a 40-yard field goal by kicker Tim Donegan with 14:53 left in the second period.

A Bethel penalty on the following kickoff set the Cardinals up at their own 49 to start their next drive. Crackel ran 19 yards on the second play from scrimmage, then threw a 32-yard TD pass to Kyle Fiedorowicz to begin what would become a 35-point quarter for the home team. 

Defensive lineman Peter Mann ended Bethel's next drive with an interception that gave North Central the ball back at the Bethel 8, and two plays later, Crackel found Fiedorowicz in the end zone again. On the Wildcats' next possession, defensive end Alex Tripp forced a fumble, which was recovered at the Bethel 27 by Shane Dierking. Two plays later, Nick Kukuc ran around the right end and dove for the corner of the end zone to complete an 18-yard scoring run. 

Defensive back Alex Pirela forced another fumble at the Bethel 23, and John Focosi pounced on the ball to set the Cardinal offense up with another short trip, and Kukuc capped off a three-play drive with a seven-yard TD run. Bethel went three plays and out on its next drive, and the Cardinals drove 47 yards in five plays and increased their lead to 49-10 after Ryan Kent crossed the goal line from 15 yards out.

"I think coming out here, it was more of a comfort thing than anything, being on our home field," Crackel said. "We got off to kind of a slow start, but then we really got rolling. It was a lot of little adjustments here and there. We needed to get better at the little things, and we did, so now we have to make sure we keep getting better."

The Wildcats opened the second half with their first sustained scoring drive, moving 70 yards in seven plays and scoring on a 13-yard run by Dominique Allen. On the final possession for the Cardinals' offensive starters, however, North Central traveled 67 yards on just three plays and scored on Crackel's 11-yard run. 

Cardinal freshman running back Ryan Kent opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a 75-yard TD run, matching the fifth-longest running play in school history. Kent then added his third touchdown of the evening on North Central's next drive, scoring from 45 yards out.

Kent finished with 176 rushing yards on just nine carries, while Jordan Tassiogained 98 yards on 11 attempts. Crackel completed 6 of 15 passes for 117 yards, and Fiedorowicz led the Cardinals' receivers for the second straight week with four catches for 69 yards. 

Joey Michals finished with a team-high seven tackles for North Central, while Peter Bulandr collected three quarterback sacks. The Cardinals had 15 tackles for loss in all and forced Bethel to punt 12 times.

"We definitely came out with a bang," said senior linebacker Kane Thompson, who finished with six tackles and one sack. "We've got our swagger back, and we have to stay confident and move on to next week."

The Cardinals host Olivet next Saturday. Kickoff at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Framingham State
Video Preview Live stats
12:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Juniata
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Becker at Dean
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Salisbury at TCNJ
Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
MIT at Catholic
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Maine Maritime
Video Preview
12:00 PM
Endicott at Hobart
Video Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Nichols at Morrisville State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Delaware Valley
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Widener at Albright
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Montclair State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bethany at Westminster (Pa.)
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Middlebury at Bowdoin
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Williams at Colby
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Amherst at Hamilton
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Ursinus at Moravian
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Trinity (Conn.) at Bates
Video Preview Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Brevard at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Geneva at Thiel
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Southern Virginia
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Frostburg State at Rowan
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Curry
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Carnegie Mellon
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Lycoming at King's
Video Live stats Audio Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Husson at Western New England
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Dickinson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wooster at DePauw
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Allegheny at Ohio Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Misericordia
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Lebanon Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Rochester at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesley at William Paterson
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at N.C. Wesleyan
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at Ferrum
Video Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Gettysburg at McDaniel
Video Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Buffalo State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Susquehanna
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Denison
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Northwestern (Minn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Crown at Eureka
Video Preview Live stats
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Heidelberg
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Northern
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Defiance at Rose-Hulman
Video Preview Live stats
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Marietta
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Franklin at Bluffton
Preview Live stats
1:30 PM
Anderson at Hanover
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Manchester
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Worcester State at Westfield State
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Coast Guard at Norwich
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Fitchburg State
Live stats
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Kenyon
Video Preview Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wabash
Video Video Live stats Tickets
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Sewanee at Millsaps
Video Preview Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Rhodes
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Greenville at Martin Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Chapman at Trinity (Texas)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Loras
Video Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Washington U. at Wartburg
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Hamline at Gustavus Adolphus
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Carleton
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Bethel
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Central
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Simpson at Coe
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
North Park at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at Grinnell
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Ripon at Knox
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at MacMurray
Video
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Southwestern at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Macalester
Video Live stats
2:10 PM
St. John's at St. Thomas
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
2:30 PM
WPI at Springfield
Video Live stats
3:00 PM
Beloit at Cornell
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Utica at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Hartwick
Audio
4:00 PM
Carroll at UW-La Crosse
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at St. Scholastica
Video Live stats
4:30 PM
UW-Eau Claire at George Fox
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
5:00 PM
Salve Regina at Western Connecticut
Video Live stats
5:00 PM
Adrian at UW-Stevens Point
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Tufts at Wesleyan
Video Preview Live stats
6:00 PM
Methodist at Averett
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Centre at Berry
Video Preview Live stats Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
Lake Forest at Lawrence
Video Video
7:00 PM
Waynesburg at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
St. Vincent at Grove City
Box Score Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Lakeland at UW-Platteville
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Carthage at Augustana
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Chicago at Illinois College
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
McMurry at Sul Ross State
Audio
7:30 PM
Capital at Wilmington
Video Preview Live stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at East Texas Baptist
8:00 PM
Arizona Christian at Whittier
Video Live stats
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Delaware Valley
Preview Live stats Video
1:00 PM
Wesley at William Paterson
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Rochester at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Dickinson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Frostburg State at Rowan
Video Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio Audio
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Heidelberg
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Kenyon
Video Preview Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wabash
Video Video Live stats Tickets
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
North Park at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:10 PM
St. John's at St. Thomas
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Utica at Brockport
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Waynesburg at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Lakeland at UW-Platteville
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio Audio