November 19, 2011

North Central Runs Over First-Round Foe, 59-13

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

Opening what it hopes to be an extended NCAA Division III playoff run with an impressive show of force, the North Central College football team further edited its own record books as the Cardinals defeated the University of Dubuque, 59-13, in Saturday's first-round game at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.

North Central (10-1) leaned heavily on its running game and wound up covering more than 400 yards on the ground, establishing new school records for points (496) and rushing yards (3,175) in a single season. The Cardinals' defense, tasked with slowing down one of the top-rated passing offenses in the nation, did as ordered and tied a single-game school record with eight quarterback sacks.

The Cardinals opened the game attempting to establish the passing game, but three unsuccessful plays led to a punt. Dubuque (9-2) punted on its opening drive as well, setting the hosts up at their own 20-yard line. This time, North Central stuck mainly to the ground game, running seven times in a 80-yard drive that led to the game's first score. A 31-yard run by Nick Kukuc got the Cardinals on the doorstep, and Tyler Dicken kept the ball on an option keeper to score on a four-yard run.

Dubuque answered by taking to the air, throwing 10 times in 14 plays on its next possession. The Spartans drove 71 yards and scored when quarterback Wyatt Hanus threw a 21-yard scoring strike to receiver Michael Zweifel on fourth down. The first quarter ended with the score tied, 7-7.

The teams traded punts early in the second period before the Cardinals scored again to take a lead they would not relinquish. Starting from their own 35, the home team ran eight straight running plays to move down the field and Jordan Tassio scored from six yards out to put North Central back in front again, 14-7. Following another Dubuque punt, Kukuc broke off runs of 11 and 21 yards before Tassio gashed the Spartans' defense for a 34-yard scoring run to boost the advantage to 21-7 with 1:56 left in the half.

The Cardinals forced another punt in the final minute of the first half, and a 30-yard return by Joe Antonacci gave North Central a chance to tack on another score before the break. Dicken threw a 15-yard pass to Bai Kabba to get the hosts into field-goal position, and Nick Dace came on to convert a 41-yard attempt as time ran out.

North Central ended the Spartans' first drive of the second half with two straight quarterback sacks, and an errant Dubuque punt gave the Cardinals the ball at the visitors' 31-yard line. Tassio came through with a three-yard run on fourth down, then ran for another 12 yards on the following play before Kukuc scored from seven yards out. Dubuque continued to experience special-teams difficulties on its next drive, as a fumbled snap on a punt attempt gave North Central the ball just three yards from the goal line. Kukuc needed one carry to get across the goal line again as the Cardinals took a 38-7 lead.

The Spartans put together their final scoring drive of the day on the ensuing possession, as Hanus completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Miles Hookstead. North Central responded by chewing up nearly six minutes in a 10-play, 65-yard drive that culminated in Dicken's four-yard TD pass to Kyle Fiedorowicz.

Dubuque turned the ball over on downs at its own 39 with 7:53 to play, setting up the Cardinals' seventh consecutive score. On fourth down-and-five, wide receiver Ryne Rezac took an option pitch and sprinted 34 yards to the end zone. Cardinal defensive back Jordan Dean intercepted a pass at the North Central 22, and two plays later, Brad Crackel headed left on the option and called his own number for a 73-yard scoring run which wound up being the final score of the afternoon.

The Cardinals wound up with 438 yards of total offense, 411 of which came on the ground. Kukuc gained 131 yards on 13 carries, giving him the second-highest single-season rushing total (1,088 yards) in the history of the North Central program. Kukuc is 60 yards short of the current record of 1,148 yards, which has been held by Bill Shupryt since 1976. Tassio added 121 yards on 14 rushes. Joey Michals led North Central's defense with 10 tackles, while Alex Tripp recorded two of the team's eight quarterback sacks.

Dubuque, which averaged 330 passing yards and 507 total yards per game heading into Saturday's action, was limited to 310 total yards, 261 of which came via the pass. Hanus completed 26 of 42 passes, throwing 13 times to Zweifel for 135 yards. Zweifel was also the Spartans' top tackler with seven total stops.

The Cardinals will take on Wabash College (Ind.) in the second round. The Little GIants defeated Illinois College, 38-20, in Saturday's opening round. The site of the game will be announced by the NCAA on Sunday.

comments powered by Disqus
Oct. 3: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
MIT at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats
10:00 PM
George Fox at Willamette
Live Stats Video
Oct. 4: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Hobart at WPI
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Mass-Dartmouth
Video
12:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Kean
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Endicott at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Juniata at Johns Hopkins
Audio
12:00 PM
Springfield at Union
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Salisbury at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio Audio
12:00 PM
TCNJ at Morrisville State
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Apprentice School at Newport News Apprentice
Live Stats
12:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Rochester
Live Stats Video Audio
12:30 PM
Mount Union at Capital
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
RPI at Merchant Marine
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Trinity (Conn.) at Hamilton
Live Stats Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wesleyan at Colby
Video
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Westfield State
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Norwich at Husson
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Williams at Bates
Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at King's
1:00 PM
Montclair State at William Paterson
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Gallaudet at Anna Maria
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Moravian at Ursinus
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Coast Guard at Western New England
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Dickinson
Video
1:00 PM
Hope at Albion
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Emory and Henry
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Guilford
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Catholic
Video Audio
1:00 PM
Benedictine at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Alma at Trine
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wooster at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Widener at Misericordia
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Nichols at Salve Regina
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Louisiana College at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at N.C. Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Susquehanna
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred at Hartwick
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Rowan at Cortland State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Buffalo State at Frostburg State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Gettysburg
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Allegheny
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Albright at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Utica at Ithaca
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Wilkes
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Rhodes at Chicago
Preview Live Stats
1:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Minnesota-Morris
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Grinnell at Lawrence
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Tufts at Bowdoin
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Amherst at Middlebury
Live Stats Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Fitchburg State
Preview Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Ohio Northern
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Franklin at Manchester
Live Stats Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Otterbein
Audio
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Earlham
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Hanover at Bluffton
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Denison at DePauw
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Castleton State at Becker
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Mount Ida
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
LaGrange at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Anderson at Rose-Hulman
Preview Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Waynesburg at Grove City
2:00 PM
Muskingum at Baldwin Wallace
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Millsaps at Hendrix
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Aurora at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Greensboro at Huntingdon
Video
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Concordia (Wis.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Lakeland
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Bethel
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Hamline at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Carleton at Gustavus Adolphus
Audio
2:00 PM
Sewanee at Birmingham-Southern
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Hardin-Simmons
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Simpson at Buena Vista
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at Cornell
2:00 PM
Knox at Macalester
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Howard Payne
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Okla. Panhandle
2:00 PM
Augustana at Elmhurst
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
North Park at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Central
Audio
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Luther
Video
2:00 PM
Loras at Coe
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Eureka
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Greenville
2:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Crown
2:00 PM
Ripon at Illinois College
2:00 PM
Beloit at Monmouth
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Trinity Bible at Maranatha Baptist
Video
2:10 PM
St. Thomas at St. Olaf
Audio
3:00 PM
St. Vincent at Thiel
Video
3:00 PM
UW-Stout at UW-Oshkosh
Live Stats Video Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-River Falls
Audio
3:30 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
Live Stats Video Audio Audio Tickets
4:00 PM
Austin at Southwestern
Preview Live Stats
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Linfield at Pacific Lutheran
Live Stats Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Chapman at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Whitworth at Pacific
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
5:00 PM
Olivet at Adrian
Live Stats Audio Audio
5:30 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at St. Scholastica
Live Stats Live Stats Video
6:00 PM
Bethany at Case Western Reserve
Preview Live Stats Video
6:00 PM
Wilmington at Marietta
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Washington U. at Berry
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Bridgewater (Va.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Thomas More at Washington and Jefferson
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Ferrum at Christopher Newport
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Millikin at North Central (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
8:00 PM
Cal Lutheran at Whittier
Live Stats Video
10:00 PM
Occidental at La Verne
Live Stats Video
10:00 PM
Redlands at Pomona-Pitzer
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
Oct. 4: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Thomas More at Washington and Jefferson
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Millikin at North Central (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Ohio Northern
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Otterbein
Audio
3:30 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
Live Stats Video Audio Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Catholic
Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wooster at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Louisiana College at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Utica at Ithaca
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Stout at UW-Oshkosh
Live Stats Video Audio
12:30 PM
Mount Union at Capital
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
2:10 PM
St. Thomas at St. Olaf
Audio
12:00 PM
Juniata at Johns Hopkins
Audio
12:00 PM
Salisbury at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio Audio
12:00 PM
Hobart at WPI
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Central
Audio
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Bethel
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
North Park at Wheaton (Ill.)
4:00 PM
Linfield at Pacific Lutheran
Live Stats Audio Audio

What We're Reading