October 15, 2011

North Central's Offense Hits Full Stride at Millikin

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

Note: This release has been updated to reflect a correction to North Central's yardage totals in the box score.

After seeing its scoring totals dip in its first two College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin games, the North Central College football team headed into Saturday's matchup at Millikin University eager to make every possession count.

Nearly everydrive wound up counting in the scoring column for the sixth-ranked Cardinals, who blasted the Big Blue, 61-14, to improve to 3-0 in the CCIW and 5-1 overall.

North Central rolled up 669 yards of total offense in the contest, establishing a new single-game school record for total offense. The previous record of 657 was set against Augsburg College in 2005. The Cardinals gained 461 of their yards on the ground, establishing the third-highest single-game rushing total in the history of the program.

The Cardinals did take some time to get going, punting away their first possession near midfield. North Central began its second drive at its own 43-yard line following a Millikin punt, and got a 34-yard run from Jordan Tassio on the first play to get into Millikin territory. A 21-yard pass from Tyler Dicken to Kyle Fiedorowicz left the visitors just two yards from the end zone, and Tassio covered the remaining distance on the next play to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead with 7:13 still to play in the first quarter.

Millikin (3-3, 1-2 CCIW) drove down to the North Central 28 on the ensuing drive, but failed on a fourth-down conversion attempt. The Cardinals moved the ball just across the midfield stripe in four plays before Dicken slung a 49-yard touchdown pass to Fiedorowicz, doubling the team's advantage to 14-0 as the first quarter ended.

The Big Blue ventured into North Central territory on their next drive as well, as yet another fourth-down conversion attempt at the Cardinals' 25-yard line was unsuccessful. Two plays later, Dicken went deep again, throwing a 68-yard TD strike to Bai Kabba to leave the score at 20-0 in North Central's favor. It was Kabba's first action since the season opener at the University of Redlands, when he sustained an injury.

The Cardinals took possession following yet another failed Millikin fourth-down conversion at the Big Blue 46, and drove down to the home team's 14-yard line before fumbling. The ball was scooped up by Millikin defensive lineman Erik Louis Charles, who returned it 86 yards for the Big Blue's first score of the day with 3:36 left in the first half.

Joe Antonacci returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards to the Millikin 45, where the Cardinals began the final scoring drive of the first half. A pass from Dicken to Nick Slezak and a defensive pass interference penalty moved North Central into striking distance, and Dicken eventually capped off the drive with a four-yard scoring pass to Alex Haan with 1:13 on the clock. The Cardinals went into halftime with a 26-7 advantage.

North Central had the ball first to start the third quarter, but a penalty on the second-half kickoff forced the Cardinals to start on their own nine-yard line. The visitors traveled nearly the length of the field in 11 plays, scoring on Mike Boettcher's 21-yard run with 10:55 on the clock. Three plays later, North Central defensive back Shane Dierking intercepted a pass at the Cardinals' 15-yard line. A 20-yard run by Nick Kukuc and Dicken's 14-yard pass to Nick Hicks preceded a 48-yard run by Boettcher, who finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown run on the next play as North Central's lead ballooned to 40-7.

The Cardinals got their next score on special teams, as Caleb Bednarz fielded a Millikin punt at his own 20-yard line and returned it 80 yards to the end zone, completing the second-longest punt return in school history and running a punt all the way back for the second time this season. Dierking ended the next Millikin possession with his second interception of the day, but the Cardinals were forced to punt. North Central carried a 47-7 advantage into the final period.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Millikin was finally able to score its only offensive touchdown of the afternoon, as quarterback Matt Holmes connecting with running back Sean Dunning on a 58-yard touchdown pass to leave the score at 47-14. The Cardinals responded with a 10-play, 63-yard drive that exclusively featured the running game and ended with a five-yard TD run by Boettcher with 9:25 to play. The Big Blue went three-and-out on their next drive, and North Central took to the ground again, as a six-play, 75-yard scoring jaunt was capped off by Boettcher's 34-yard TD run with 4:36 to play.

Boettcher finished the day with 186 rushing yards on just 15 carries, and tied a single-game school record with his four rushing touchdowns. Kukuc also established a new career best, gaining 152 yards on 12 attempts. Dicken completed 10 of 23 passes for 208 yards, as Fiedorowicz caught three passes for 79 yards and Nick Slezak made a trio of grabs for 38 yards. Tharryn Wright and Joey Michals were the team's top tacklers, each recording eight total stops. The Cardinals averaged 8.8 yards per play and outgained Millikin by nearly 300 yards.

Holmes completed 14 of 37 passes for 180 yards and was also Millikin's top rusher with 85 yards on 14 carries. Big Blue defensive back Nick Kronmiller recorded a game-high 14 tackles.

The Cardinals play their final road game of the regular season on Saturday, traveling to face 16th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan University (6-0, 3-0 CCIW). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

comments powered by Disqus
Oct. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Johns Hopkins 42, at Dickinson 7
Box Score Recap
Oct. 18: All times Eastern
Final
MIT 52, at Nichols 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Colby 47, Hamilton 14
Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
Western Connecticut 20, at Fitchburg State 14
Box Score
Final
at Maine Maritime 13, Coast Guard 7
Box Score Photos
Final
at Salve Regina 49, Curry 6
Box Score Photos
Final
Westfield State 32, at Massachusetts Maritime 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Juniata 38, Ursinus 10
Box Score
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 17, at Bowdoin 10
Box Score
Final
at Husson 12, Gallaudet 6
Box Score Recap
Final
at Middlebury 35, Bates 6
Box Score
Final
at Mount Ida 26, Castleton State 21
Box Score Recap
Final
Kean 30, at William Paterson 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Cortland State 35, Southern Virginia 0
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 31, McDaniel 7
Box Score
Final
Ohio Wesleyan 23, at DePauw 16
Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 24, at Moravian 21
Box Score Photos
Final
Washington and Jefferson 34, at Bethany 3
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Shenandoah 24, at Catholic 14
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Concordia (Wis.) 49, at Trine 46
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 49, Emory and Henry 27
Box Score
Final
at Washington and Lee 28, Randolph-Macon 25
Box Score
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 21, Grove City 10
Box Score Photos
Final
at Guilford 35, Bridgewater (Va.) 28
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Widener 59, Wilkes 12
Box Score
Final
Methodist 73, at LaGrange 28
Box Score
Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 39, at Greensboro 14
Box Score Photos
Final
Brockport State 45, at Alfred 42
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Huntingdon 35, at Ferrum 16
Box Score
Final - 2OT
at Frostburg State 38, Ithaca 37
Box Score Recap
Final
Waynesburg 26, at Westminster (Pa.) 21
Box Score
Final
at Muhlenberg 47, Gettysburg 6
Box Score Recap
Final
Wabash 52, at Kenyon 10
Box Score Recap
Final
at Salisbury 59, Hartwick 49
Box Score Photos
Final
at Bridgewater State 24, Plymouth State 0
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Utica 7
Box Score Recap
Final
King's 45, at FDU-Florham 17
Final
at Rochester 34, RPI 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Berry 46, Hendrix 24
Box Score Recap
Cancelled
Maranatha Baptist at Washington U.
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 35, Greenville 28
Box Score Recap
Final - OT
Amherst 33, at Wesleyan 30
Box Score
Final
at Tufts 27, Williams 20
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Case Western Reserve 33, Geneva 19
Box Score Photos
Final
Franklin 38, at Mount St. Joseph 28
Box Score
Final
at Thomas More 49, St. Vincent 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Baldwin Wallace 56, at Wilmington 17
Box Score Photos
Final
at Mount Union 58, Heidelberg 17
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
Rose-Hulman 28, at Defiance 12
Box Score
Final
at John Carroll 80, Marietta 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Anderson 37, Hanover 35
Box Score
Final
Bluffton 24, at Earlham 22
Box Score Recap
Final
Otterbein 32, at Muskingum 20
Box Score
Final
at Springfield 48, Merchant Marine 21
Box Score
Final
Ohio Northern 38, at Capital 31
Box Score
Final - OT
at Hope 42, Olivet 35
Box Score Recap Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Kalamazoo 45, Alma 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Rowan 31, Morrisville State 0
Box Score Recap
Final
Oberlin 37, at Allegheny 9
Box Score Recap
Final
Lakeland 34, at Rockford 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Bethel 52, Chicago 21
Box Score Photos
Final
Wisconsin Lutheran 59, at Concordia-Chicago 15
Box Score
Final
Centre 31, at Sewanee 3
Box Score
Final
St. John's 29, at Gustavus Adolphus 19
Box Score Photos
Final
St. Olaf 17, at Carleton 13
Box Score Photos
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 41, at Augsburg 21
Box Score
Final
Monmouth 31, at Lake Forest 7
Box Score
Final
Birmingham-Southern 16, at Millsaps 14
Box Score
Final
Coe 35, at Simpson 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Buena Vista 48, Luther 41
Box Score
Final
Macalester 28, at Beloit 21
Box Score
Final
at St. Norbert 13, Ripon 10
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Louisiana College 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Augustana 7, at Illinois Wesleyan 2
Box Score Recap
Final
at Central 41, Loras 14
Box Score Recap
Final
MacMurray 58, at Eureka 27
Box Score
Final
at UW-La Crosse 21, UW-Stout 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Illinois College 35, at Grinnell 10
Box Score
Final
at Iowa Wesleyan 37, Westminster (Mo.) 21
Box Score
Final
Benedictine 26, at Aurora 0
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 62, at Hamline 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Norwich 37, at Becker 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Worcester State 50, Mass-Dartmouth 43
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 19, Sul Ross State 12
Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at Wartburg 42, Dubuque 9
Box Score
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 37, UW-River Falls 7
Box Score
Final
Delaware Valley 35, at Stevenson 13
Box Score Recap
Final
SUNY-Maritime 40, at Anna Maria 12
Box Score Recap
Final
Wittenberg 42, at Wooster 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Wesley 70, at Menlo 2
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
St. Scholastica 49, at Martin Luther 14
Box Score
Final
Austin 27, at Southwestern Assemblies 20
Box Score Photos
Final
UW-Whitewater 52, at UW-Eau Claire 3
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 53, Carthage 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Platteville 31, UW-Stevens Point 13
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Elmhurst 28, North Park 0
Final
at Cornell 49, Knox 29
Box Score
Final
at Montclair State 28, TCNJ 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Western New England 36, at Union 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Carroll 76, Lawrence 7
Box Score
Final
at Pacific 31, Pacific Lutheran 28
Box Score Recap
Final
at Cal Lutheran 41, Pomona-Pitzer 17
Box Score Photos
Final
at Willamette 45, Lewis and Clark 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Puget Sound 33, at George Fox 14
Box Score Photos
Final
at Linfield 65, Whitworth 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Adrian 47, Albion 26
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
Christopher Newport 38, at Averett 7
Box Score
Final
at Alfred State 10, Erie CC 3
Box Score Photos
Final
at Crown 30, Minnesota-Morris 27
Box Score
Final
at Trinity (Texas) 22, Southwestern 19
Box Score
Final
Howard Payne 54, at East Texas Baptist 53
Box Score
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 28, at Millikin 3
Box Score
Final
at Whittier 36, La Verne 17
Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at Redlands 31, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Chapman 59, Occidental 21
Box Score Photos
Oct. 24: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Oct. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 28, at Millikin 3
Box Score
Final
Wesley 70, at Menlo 2
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Wittenberg 42, at Wooster 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Delaware Valley 35, at Stevenson 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 58, Heidelberg 17
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Thomas More 49, St. Vincent 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at John Carroll 80, Marietta 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 49, Emory and Henry 27
Box Score
Final
Wabash 52, at Kenyon 10
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Utica 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Washington and Jefferson 34, at Bethany 3
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 53, Carthage 23
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Whitewater 52, at UW-Eau Claire 3
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Platteville 31, UW-Stevens Point 13
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Wartburg 42, Dubuque 9
Box Score
Final
St. Thomas 62, at Hamline 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Bethel 52, Chicago 21
Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Louisiana College 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 41, at Augsburg 21
Box Score
Final
St. John's 29, at Gustavus Adolphus 19
Box Score Photos
Final
at Linfield 65, Whitworth 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Pacific 31, Pacific Lutheran 28
Box Score Recap
Oct. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Johns Hopkins 42, at Dickinson 7
Box Score Recap

What We're Reading