Time of Poss.
The North Central College football team stepped into the ring at Schneider Stadium on Saturday in no mood to throw jabs, hitting hard from the start with a series of big plays to pound the Carroll University Pioneers into submission, 62-3.
The Cardinals (5-1, 4-1 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) scored the final 56 points of the afternoon and averaged more than nine yards per play in piling up 602 yards of total offense. It is North Central's third 600-plus yard outing in six games this season.
The visitors wasted no time getting the show rolling, as DeAngelo Hardy opened play with a 49-yard kickoff return, the Cardinals' longest this season thus far. Just two plays later, North Central was in the end zone, as Broc Rutter lofted a 33-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Kamienski after just 46 seconds had elapsed.
Carroll (1-5, 0-5 CCIW) took advantage of a pair of long pass completions on third down later in the period and had a first-and-goal opportunity on the one-yard line, but a pair of penalties and stops by Bryan Beauchamp and Dakota Cremeens halted the Pioneers' progress. Kicker Carson Roseleip was able to convert a field goal, leaving the score at 6-3 with 5:11 still to play in the opening quarter. North Central responded, however, with a 65-yard scoring drive capped off by Ethan Greenfield, whose nifty spin move in the backfield broke him free for a 12-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 13-3.
Early in the second quarter, the Cardinals saw a touchdown called back and were backed up to their own nine-yard line following a pair of penalties. Greenfield, however, answered the bell yet again on the next play, tearing through the Carroll defense for a 91-yard scoring run which ranks as the third-longest in the program's history. Rutter closed the half by firing two more touchdown passes (32 and 15 yards) to Kamienski and the visitors headed into halftime ahead, 34-3.
Rutter delivered a 39-yard TD pass down the middle to a wide-open Alex Rose before departing the game with the Cardinals well ahead. Freshman running back Rafael Rios accounted for the rest of the scoring, running for scores of one, 13 and 27 yards.
Rutter completed 14 of 22 passes for 256 yards, establishing a new CCIW record for career passing yards in conference play (8,613) and setting a new North Central record for career passing attempts (1,270). Kamienski finished with eight catches for 167 yards, leaving him just one yard short of the Cardinals' career record for receiving yards (2,574) held by Steve Hlavac '11. Greenfield gained 137 rushing yards on just nine carries, while Rios 15 times for a season-high 131 yards.
North Central returns home to host Carthage College on Saturday. Kickoff at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium is set for 12:00 noon.