/seasons/2011/contrib/201110152958qu

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.

Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Westfield State at Framingham State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Moravian at Juniata
Live stats
12:00 PM
Endicott at Salve Regina
Audio Preview Live stats Video
12:00 PM
St. Vincent at Thomas More
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Hobart at Union
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Colby at Hamilton
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at Christopher Newport
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Ithaca
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Allegheny
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Mount Ida
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Middlebury at Bates
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at Springfield
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesleyan at Amherst
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bowdoin at Trinity (Conn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Husson at Gallaudet
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wabash at Oberlin
Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Buffalo State at Utica
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Muskingum
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Albright at Stevenson
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at DePauw
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alma at Albion
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Shenandoah at Guilford
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Massachusetts Maritime
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Wooster at Hiram
Preview Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Hampden-Sydney
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Anna Maria
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bridgewater at Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at FDU-Florham
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Misericordia
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Rochester at St. Lawrence
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
RPI at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Nichols at Curry
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Salisbury
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Brevard
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Apprentice
Audio
1:00 PM
Ursinus at Susquehanna
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Cortland at Morrisville State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Hope at Trine
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-River Falls
Video
1:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Sewanee
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Dickinson at Franklin and Marshall
Video Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Tufts at Williams
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Wilmington
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
MIT at Coast Guard
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Maine Maritime at Norwich
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Marietta
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Franklin at Rose-Hulman
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Capital
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Bluffton at Manchester
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Anderson
2:00 PM
Kean at TCNJ
Live stats
2:00 PM
Greensboro at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Worcester State
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Muhlenberg at McDaniel
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Western New England at Becker
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Methodist at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Adrian at Kalamazoo
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Denison at Ohio Wesleyan
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
Audio
2:00 PM
Olivet at Benedictine
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Austin
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-Stout
Audio
2:00 PM
Eureka at MacMurray
Video
2:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Buena Vista
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Rockford at Aurora
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. Olaf
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Concordia-Moorhead
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Greenville
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Coe at Loras
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Cornell
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at North Park
Live stats
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Martin Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Lake Forest
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Carroll at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Ripon at Macalester
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Lawrence at St. Norbert
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Crown
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at Iowa Wesleyan
2:10 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live stats Audio
2:30 PM
Merchant Marine at WPI
Video Live stats
2:30 PM
Rhodes at Centre
Video Live stats
2:30 PM
Hanover at Earlham
Video Preview Live stats Audio
2:30 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Video Preview Live stats
3:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-La Crosse
Video Live stats Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Simpson at Dubuque
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Augustana at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
Live stats
4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Bridgewater State
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Chapman at La Verne
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Pacific at Lewis and Clark
Video Live stats Audio Audio Tickets
4:00 PM
Pacific Lutheran at Willamette
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at Whitworth
Video Live stats Audio
4:00 PM
Redlands at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Video Audio
4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
Video Live stats
5:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Howard Payne
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Dean at Castleton
Video Live stats Tickets
6:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Averett
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Otterbein
Audio
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Thiel
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Knox at Illinois College
Video Live stats
10:00 PM
Whittier at Cal Lutheran
Video Live stats
Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
RPI at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at DePauw
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wabash at Oberlin
Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Catholic at Springfield
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Wilmington
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Concordia-Moorhead
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Luther
Video Live stats
2:10 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-La Crosse
Video Live stats Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Augustana at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Live stats Video Preview