Complete Game Notes (PDF)
Sept. 16: Illinois Wesleyan University Titans (2-0, 0-0 CCIW) at North Central College Cardinals (1-0, 0-0 CCIW)
Kickoff: 6 p.m., Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium
Video: Naperville Community Television, Channel 17/nctv17.com
Radio: 89.1-FM WONC
Live Stats: www.sidearmstats.com/ncc/football
Game Updates via Twitter: @NCC_Athletics
Series History: Illinois Wesleyan leads, 36-27-3
Setting the Scene: An annual meeting among rivals doubles as a showdown of unbeaten nationally-ranked programs this week, as the Cardinals look to continue their recent mastery of an IWU team which has acquitted itself well in the early season.
Series History: This is the 67th football meeting between the two institutions. Illinois Wesleyan leads the all-time series, 36-27-3, though the Cardinals have won the last six meetings and 12 of the last 13.
The teams met in Bloomington Sept. 17 of last season, as North Central scored the first 27 points of the game en route to a 34-7 rout of the Titans.
The Cardinals outgained IWU, 401-151, and established a new single-game school record by intercepting six Titan passes. Broc Rutter threw touchdown passes to Alex Ulmer and Nolan Brannick, while Oshayne Brown and Dylan Warden ran for scores and Liam Crotty connected on a pair of field goals.
National Rankings: North Central is ranked No. 5 nationally this week by D3football.com, while Illinois Wesleyan is ranked 16th.
Scouting the Titans: Illinois Wesleyan remained unbeaten thus far this season on Saturday with a 42-21 victory over Nebraska Wesleyan.
The Titans owned a 42-3 advantage before a pair of late touchdown passes by NWU. Quarterback Brandon Bauer completed 15 of 21 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns, while Morgan Alexander ran 12 times for 124 of IWU's 266 rushing yards.
For the second straight week, the Titans effectively shut down their opponent's running game, though NWU was able to gain 461 yards through the air.
Bauer has completed 60.4 percent of his passes the first two games with five touchdowns and no interceptions, throwing three TDs to sophomore wideout Jack Healy.
This Week for the Cardinals: North Central began the season Sept. 2 with a 33-31 victory over Robert Morris-Chicago at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.
The Cardinals owned a 26-3 lead early in the second half before Robert Morris began a furious comeback effort and nearly tied the score with 3:49 to play before defensive back Jelani Hardy brought down Eagle quarterback Kenyatte Allen on a two-point conversion attempt. Linebacker Tyler Oakley sealed the win by breaking up a pass on the Eagles' final offensive play.
Austin Breunig ran for 125 yards on a career-high 27 rushing attempts while also making three catches for 94 yards. He scored on a 78-yard reception and a four-yard run in the first half.
Dominick Muoghalu scored two rushing touchdowns in his debut in a Cardinal uniform, while Liam Crottyconnected on a pair of field goals and DJ Warkenthien notched a career-high 10 tackles including 3.5 tackles for loss.
CCIW Player of the Week: Breunig was named the CCIW's Offensive Player of the Week following the Cardinals' season-opening victory.
Millikin's Gerald Perry, Carthage's Shawntrel Garner and Millikin's Wyatt Fox were selected as last week's CCIW Players of the Week. Perry caught six passes for 207 yards and touchdown receptions of 80 and 93 yards during a 28-26 win over Rose-Hulman on Saturday. Garner totaled a game-high nine tackles (seven solo) five tackles-for-loss, one sack and an 84-yard interception return for a touchdown. Fox had seven punts for 291 yards (41.6 average) during the Big Blue's win against Rose-Hulman.
This Week in the CCIW: This is the first week of conference play in the CCIW. Elmhurst visits North Park, while Carthage travels to Wheaton and Augstana visits Carroll. Millikin is idle this week.
Preseason All-Americans: North Central had three players receive Preseason All-America recognition from D3football.com, as senior offensive tackle Joe Fehrle was named to the First Team and senior defensive end Billy Douds and senior linebacker Tommy Sora were selected to the Second Team.
The Cardinals tied for the most selections of any single team and posted their highest total of Preseason All-America picks since receiving four selections in 2009.
Fehrle was also selected to Preseason All-America Teams in the Street & Smith's and Lindy's Sports preview magazines, and Rutter made the Lindy's Sports list as well.
North Central Career Rankings: Kuhl ranks third in the Cardinals' history in touchdown receptions (22) and sixth in total receptions (111), while Rutter ranks fourth in touchdown passes (39) and fifth in pass completions (245) and passing yards (3,519).
Breunig ranks fifth all-time in all-purpose yards (2,872) and seventh in rushing yards (2,131) and rushing touchdowns (24), and Liam Crotty sits sixth in extra-point kicks made (61) and eighth in field goals made (10).
Cravens ranks fourth in school history in punt return yards (474), 14th in interceptions (6) and 18th in pass breakups (14). Stuursma currently ranks 10th in tackles (208) and 11th tackles for loss (30) and Billy Doudsis 10th in quarterback sacks (13.5) and Warkenthien is 13th in tackles for loss (23.5).
'Red Zone' Returns in 2017: Once again, fans of North Central College football can get an insider's look at the Cardinals' football program, as 'The Red Zone' highlight show returns for its 10th season on Naperville Community Television, Channel 17.
The show airs each Thursday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Friday at 12:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at midnight. It will feature interviews with coaches and players, highlights of the previous week's game, and a look ahead to the upcoming opponent.
Each show is viewable online at nctv17.com and is archived at youtube.com/northcentralsports as well as at northcentralcardinals.com.
North Central Week 2 Preview vs. Illinois Wesleyan
Complete Game Notes (PDF)