/seasons/2011/contrib/20111022j8e5ky

North Central Takes Charge Early in Shutout of IWU

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

A matchup many thought sure to be a down-to-the-wire affair had most of the drama removed by the North Central College football team on Saturday, as the sixth-ranked Cardinals took control early on and blanked the 13th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan University Titans, 24-0, putting a damper on the Titans' Homecoming festivities and taking sole possession of first place in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin standings.

The Cardinals (6-1, 4-0 CCIW) have now held three of their first four conference opponents without a touchdown and have two shutouts in conference play for the first time since 1965, when North Central posted back-to-back shutouts of North Park University and Millikin University. Illinois Wesleyan (6-1, 3-1), meanwhile, suffered its first shutout at home since a 21-0 loss to Augustana College in 1990.

North Central was able to overcome a festive atmosphere and a noisy crowd to punch the ball into the end zone on the game's opening drive. The Cardinals marched 58 yards in nine plays and wound up scoring on a two-yard run by Jordan Tassio. Quarterback Tyler Dicken completed 3 of 3 passes for 31 yards during the possession, also running once for nine yards.

The Cardinals doubled their lead in the second quarter, aided by a pass interference penalty on third down-and-long which gave North Central's offene new life at its own 33-yard line. Two plays later, Dicken threw deep to Bai Kabba for a 46-yard completion to advance the visitors to the Titans' 20-yard line. Dicken wound up capping off the 11-play, 82-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown pass toAlex Haan with 4:55 to play in the second quarter.

North Central took possession following a Titan punt at its own 30 with just 35 seconds left before halftime. A pair of 15-yard IWU penalties helped move the Cardinals into field-goal range, and a 44-yard kick by Nick Dace split the uprights to give North Central a 17-0 advantage just before halftime.

The Cardinals were forced to punt on their first possession of the second half, butTyler Rasche booted the ball 63 yards to pin the Titans at their own five-yard line. IWU advanced to near midfield before Cardinal linebacker Joey Michalsintercepted a pass from IWU quarterback Rob Gallik. Michals, an All-CCIW hurdler during the most recent indoor and outdoor track and field seasons, leaped over a would-be Titan tackler and sprinted to the end zone for a 49-yard touchdown return, boosting the Cardinals' lead to 24-0 with 7:48 left in the third period.

The Titans threatened to score on their next possession, but Josh Mitchell picked off Gallik's pass in the end zone. The final IWU drive also ended with the ball in the hands of a North Central defender, as Stewart Charles collected the Cardinals' third interception of the day with 5:21 remaining.

The Cardinals wound up outgaining IWU, 334-215, owning a 199-61 advantage in rushing yards and a 33:08-26:52 edge in time of possession. Nick Kukuc ran 19 times for a season-high 127 yards, while Dicken completed 11 of 20 passes for 135 yards and Haan made a team-high four catches for 30 yards. Michales, Shane Dierking and Kane Thompson shared the team lead in tackles (6) and Willie Hayes totaled two tackles for loss.

Gallik completed 18 of 39 passes for 154 yards for the Titans, while Joe Musso caught seven passes for 45 yards and Cameron Blossom gained 41 yards on 10 rushing attempts. IWU linebacker Ryan Gresko made a game-high 16 tackles.

The Cardinals play the first of three straight home games next Saturday, hosting Elmhurst College (4-3, 2-2). Kickoff at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
TBA
Moravian at King's
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
7:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
Live Stats
7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
TBA
Alma at St. Vincent
TBA
Heidelberg at Olivet
TBA
Worcester State at Salve Regina
TBA
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
Live Stats
TBA
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
TBA
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
TBA
Catholic at McDaniel
TBA
Brevard at Davidson
TBA
Grove City at Juniata
TBA
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
TBA
Carthage at Aurora
TBA
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
TBA
Knox at Eureka
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Video Live Stats Live Stats
12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Union at Husson
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live Stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
8:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
Live Stats
Maintenance in progress.