September 29, 2012

North Central Opens CCIW Title Defense with Rout of Elmhurst

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

The North Central College football team showed its contemporaries in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin that the road to the CCIW Championship still runs through Naperville on Saturday, as the Cardinals posted their best effort of the season to date in a 44-10 smash of Elmhurst College in the CCIW opener for both teams.

North Central (3-1) posted a season-high 554 yards of total offense while limiting the Bluejays (3-1) to 198 yards and forcing three Elmhurst turnovers. It was the Cardinals' 14th consecutive win over the Bluejays and the 17th consecutive win against CCIW competition for the six-time defending conference champions.

"We call the non-conference season its own little separate season," said North Central head coach John Thorne. "(Conference play) is its own season. The guys were very excited about playing tonight and I thought they played with tremendous enthusiasm."

The Cardinals took the field on offense first, and opened the game with a flea-flicker play which resulted in a 43-yard pass from Spencer Stanek to Jeff Stolzenburg. North Central advanced inside the Elmhurst 10-yard line before the drive stalled, and kicker Nick Dace came on to kick a 27-yard field goal and get the hosts on the board. A solid kickoff return, coupled with a personal foul penalty, set the Bluejays up with good field position on their first drive, and David Tomis tied the score with a 31-yard field goal with 8:12 left in the first period.

North Central's first touchdown drive started on the Cardinals' 30-yard line late in the first period. Stanek opened with a 32-yard pass to Peter Sorenson, then completed two passes to Ryne Rezac for 20 yards before Nick Kukuc ran around the right side and dove for the corner of the end zone to complete an 18-yard touchdown run. With 2:56 remaining in the opening period, the Cardinals led, 10-3.

The hosts gave themselves some breathing room early in the second quarter, asJordan Tassio broke free for a 50-yard touchdown run with 10:35 on the clock. The Cardinals added another score before the end of the half, putting together a 12-play, 65-yard drive which ate up nearly four minutes. Stanek completed 4 of 7 passes on the drive, three of which went to Sorenson, who hauled in an 18-yard TD pass with 28 seconds before halftime and sent North Central into the break with a 24-3 lead.

"It was nice getting two weeks to prepare," said Stanek, who completed 13 of 22 passes for a season-high 250 yards. "It was nice to be able to work on a lot of stuff we had done wrong in our last game. That's a lot of time to prepare and I think it showed."

Elmhurst threatened to cut into its deficit on its first drive of the third quarter, driving to the Cardinals' 14-yard line before turning the ball over on downs. North Central lost a fumble on its next drive, but forced a turnover on the very next play. The Bluejays, attempting to run their own flea-flicker, fumbled and North Central's Josh Beveridge grabbed the ball to give the Cardinals possession at the Elmhurst 47. On the next play, Stanek fired a deep pass to Patrick Mitchell, who outran the Bluejays' defensive backfield for a 47-yard TD.

The Bluejays' next two drives resulted in interceptions, and both turned into North Central points. Shane Dierking stepped in front of a pass on the next play from scrimmage, and Dace later came on to kick a 21-yard field goal. Four plays later,Trey Hartema snared an errant pass to set the Cardinals up at the 50-yard line. Kukuc soon added a second touchdown run, racing 43 yards to the end zone.

"The three turnovers that the defense got were really great," Thorne said. "Nick Kukuc made some great runs, Ryan Kent made some great runs, and Jordan Tassio showed some great speed on his touchdown run. The offensive line had to do a really great job to let that happen."

The Cardinals surrendered their only touchdown of the evening on special teams, as Elmhurst's Alvin Chakungal blocked a North Central punt near the Cardinals' goal line. The Bluejays' Shane Meyer pounced on the ball in the end zone for the visitors' lone touchdown. The Cardinals responded with a score on the ensuing drive, traveling 44 yards on 11 plays and bleeding seven minutes off the game clock before Dace kicked a 36-yard field goal with 6:17 to play.

North Central averaged 8.3 yards per play in the game, gaining 304 yards on the ground. Kukuc ran 14 times for 116 yards, while Kent gained 77 yards on 11 carries and Tassio ran five times for 57 yards. Sorenson was the Cardinals' top receiver with 92 yards on five catches. Alex Pirela and Nick Slezak were North Central's top tacklers, each with five total stops.

Elmhurst running back Scottie Williams, who entered the game ranked second nationally among NCAA Division III players in rushing yards heading into the game, was limited to 67 yards on 20 carries. Quarterback Joe Furco completed 9 of 24 passes for 95 yards. Linebacker Wayne Tuckson paced the Bluejays' defense with 10 tackles and two tackles for loss. Elmhurst was able to gain less than half of the 437 yards per game it had averaged in its three previous games.

"We started strong," said North Central cornerback and defensive captain Josh Mitchell. "Our defense definitely made a lot of big plays and we played well as a team tonight. We had a lot of guys doing their assignments right and doing what they were supposed to do and it showed on the scoreboard."

The Cardinals, who are on the road for the next three weeks, next travel to Decatur, Ill, to face Millikin University (3-1, 0-1 CCIW). The Big Blue lost a 34-33 overtime decision to Illinois Wesleyan University on Saturday.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 27: All times Eastern
Final
at Buffalo State 32, Salisbury 28
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Framingham State 48, Western Connecticut 31
Box Score
Final
at Endicott 28, Curry 6
Box Score Recap
Final
Worcester State 48, at Massachusetts Maritime 14
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Amherst 30, at Bowdoin 7
Box Score
Final
at Tufts 42, Bates 24
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Springfield 63, Rochester 27
Box Score
Final
at MIT 48, Salve Regina 26
Box Score
Final
Middlebury 27, at Colby 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wesleyan 43, Hamilton 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 42, Merchant Marine 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Rhodes 12, at Berry 0
Box Score
Final
Coast Guard 28, at Nichols 12
Box Score
Final
Lycoming 27, at Wilkes 14
Box Score Recap
Final
Catholic 54, at Anna Maria 25
Box Score Recap
Final
Ursinus 42, at McDaniel 13
Box Score Recap
Final
Mass-Dartmouth 20, at Plymouth State 5
Box Score
Final
Stevenson 13, at Albright 6
Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin and Marshall 35, at Juniata 33
Box Score
Final
at DePauw 24, Kenyon 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Moravian 21, Dickinson 14
Box Score Recap
Final
Castleton State 36, at Alfred State 23
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 22, Geneva 21
Box Score Photos Photos
Final
Bridgewater (Va.) 32, at Apprentice School 16
Box Score
Final
Widener 30, at FDU-Florham 0
Final
at LaGrange 30, Averett 29
Box Score
Final
Western New England 80, at Maine Maritime 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wesley 47, Southern Virginia 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Gettysburg 31, at Susquehanna 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Lawrence 28, Union 20
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 48, at Frostburg State 7
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at King's 36, Misericordia 29
Final
Wittenberg 48, at Oberlin 10
Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Vincent 31, Grove City 14
Final
Delaware Valley 59, at Lebanon Valley 41
Box Score Recap
Final
at Morrisville State 38, Cortland State 31
Box Score Recap
Final
at Denison 34, Ohio Wesleyan 31
Box Score
Final
at Case Western Reserve 23, Thiel 16
Box Score Photos
Final
Ithaca 17, at Alfred 6
Box Score Recap
Cancelled
Pacific at Chicago
Preview Live Stats
Final
at Eureka 17, Minnesota-Morris 10
Box Score
Final
at Franklin 54, Bluffton 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Centre 50, Washington U. 20
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
Huntingdon 35, at Maryville (Tenn.) 21
Box Score
Final
at Thomas More 49, Westminster (Pa.) 6
Box Score Recap
Final
Anderson 45, at Earlham 15
Box Score
Final
at Mount St. Joseph 49, Manchester 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Defiance 31, at Hanover 28
Box Score
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 38, at Williams 0
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
N.C. Wesleyan 34, at Ferrum 30
Box Score
Final
at Heidelberg 69, Ohio Northern 52
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Johns Hopkins 42, at Muhlenberg 26
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wabash 63, Allegheny 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Austin 19, Howard Payne 16
Box Score
Final
St. Scholastica 31, at Westminster (Mo.) 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Emory and Henry 44, at Sewanee 27
Box Score
Final
Bethel 38, at Carleton 7
Box Score
Final
Gustavus Adolphus 55, at Augsburg 31
Box Score Photos
Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 52, St. Olaf 14
Box Score Photos
Final - OT
at Beloit 27, Lake Forest 24
Box Score
Final
at Hendrix 48, Birmingham-Southern 31
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 30, Langston 29
Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at St. Norbert 32, Illinois College 27
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Macalester 21, at Grinnell 16
Box Score
Final
at Sul Ross State 27, Wayland Baptist 24
Final
Cornell 43, at Ripon 24
Final
Greenville 23, at Martin Luther 14
Box Score
Final
at Iowa Wesleyan 40, MacMurray 34
Box Score
Final
at Knox 45, Lawrence 14
Cancelled
Maranatha Baptist at Concordia-Chicago
Final
at Carroll 32, Monmouth 27
Box Score
Final
St. John's 24, at St. Thomas 14
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Okla. Baptist 51, Southwestern 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Stevens Point 34, North Central (Ill.) 27
Recap Recap
Final
Louisiana College 37, at Bacone 13
Box Score
Final
Chapman 49, at Whitworth 34
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Texas Lutheran 54, at Southwestern Assemblies 21
Box Score
Final
at Bethany 33, Waynesburg 27
Box Score Recap
Final
at RPI 27, WPI 6
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Muskingum 36, Capital 20
Box Score Photos
Final
at Mount Union 63, Marietta 7
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wooster 39, Hiram 24
Box Score
Final
Otterbein 49, at Wilmington 21
Box Score
Final
at Utica 42, Brockport State 28
Box Score Recap Recap
Final - 2OT
at Christopher Newport 51, Methodist 48
Box Score
Final
at John Carroll 45, Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Millikin 30, Aurora 9
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 73, Kean 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at East Texas Baptist 68, Millsaps 15
Box Score Recap
Final
Pacific Lutheran 38, at Trinity (Texas) 14
Box Score Photos
Final
Buena Vista 55, at Waldorf 28
Box Score
Final
at Carthage 21, Lakeland 14
Box Score Recap
Final
Northwestern (Minn.) 40, at Crown 14
Box Score
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
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
Sep. 27: All times Eastern
Final
at Mount Union 63, Marietta 7
Box Score Photos
Final
at John Carroll 45, Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 73, Kean 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Pacific Lutheran 38, at Trinity (Texas) 14
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wabash 63, Allegheny 0
Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 42, at Muhlenberg 26
Box Score Recap
Final
at Heidelberg 69, Ohio Northern 52
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Thomas More 49, Westminster (Pa.) 6
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wesley 47, Southern Virginia 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
St. John Fisher 48, at Frostburg State 7
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Wittenberg 48, at Oberlin 10
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 42, Merchant Marine 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Lycoming 27, at Wilkes 14
Box Score Recap
Final
Ithaca 17, at Alfred 6
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Stevens Point 34, North Central (Ill.) 27
Recap Recap
Final
St. John's 24, at St. Thomas 14
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
Bethel 38, at Carleton 7
Box Score
Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 52, St. Olaf 14
Box Score Photos

What We're Reading