/seasons/2012/contrib/20120930ns2bbm

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.

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 Video
12:00 PM
Endicott at Salve Regina
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
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 Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Albright at Stevenson
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at DePauw
Video Preview Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Alma at Albion
Video Preview 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 Preview 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 Preview 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 Preview Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
MIT at Coast Guard
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Maine Maritime at Norwich
Video Preview Live stats
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Marietta
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Franklin at Rose-Hulman
Video Preview Preview 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 Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
Video Live stats 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 Preview 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 Preview Live stats Audio
4:00 PM
Redlands at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Video Audio
4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
Video Preview Live stats Audio
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
Video Preview Live stats 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. 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 Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at DePauw
Video Preview Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Catholic at Springfield
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Wilmington
Live stats Audio Video Preview
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Marietta
Video Preview 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
Video Live stats 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 Preview Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Video Preview Live stats