October 16, 2010

Cardinals Bash Big Blue, 38-7

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

The North Central College football team was victorious for the 16th straight regular-season home game on Saturday, racing to an early lead and cruising past the Millikin University Big Blue, 38-7, at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.

The Cardinals (6-0, 3-0 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) dominated on both sides of the ball en route to a 35-0 halftime lead before the backups ran out the clock.

North Central's offense hit a speedbump getting started, as Brad Crackel's first pass was intercepted by Big Blue safety Sonnie Rollins at the Millikin 35-yard line. The visitors attempted to convert on fourth down, needing just one yard, but Willie Hayes sacked quarterback Luke Hockaday to end the drive.

Once they regained possession, the Cardinals methodically covered 35 yards in six plays to get to the end zone, as Jordan Tassio ran two yards for a touchdown to give the hosts a 7-0 lead with 10:19 on the first-quarter clock.

The Big Blue (3-3, 0-3 CCIW) came up short on another fourth-down conversion and turned the ball over on the North Central 42. The Cardinals followed with a 10-play, 58-yard drive that led to another Tassio score, this time from three yards out, doubling North Central's lead to 14-0.

The Cardinals' next drive led to their first score of the second period. After a Millikin punt, North Central got a boost from a 31-yard run by Nick Kukuc before eventually scoring on a four-yard run by Crackel with 11:43 to go in the first half. The Big Blue drove 62 yards in 11 plays on their next drive, but a pair of penalties left the visitors facing a third-and-15 at the North Central 22. Hockaday was sacked by Peter Bulandr and Valente Garza, shaking up the Millikin signal-caller and forcing him from the game, and another fourth-down conversion attempt failed. 

North Central took over at its own 18-yard line and needed just two plays to score again, as Crackel beat an oncoming blitz by firing a pass over the middle to Kyle Fiedorowicz. Finding no defenders in front of him, Fiedorowicz sprinted unmolested to the goal line for a 78-yard touchdown reception, matching the third-longest passing play in school history and increasing the lead to 28-0.

Millikin backup quarterback Matt Holmes was unable to pick up a first down on the team's next drive, and the Big Blue punted to give North Central possession on the visitors' 45-yard line with 3:45 to play. Six plays later, Tassio picked through the defense for a 21-yard touchdown run and a 35-0 advantage.

A short Millikin punt on the first possession of the second half led to the Cardinals' final score. Taking over at the Big Blue 39, the Cardianls drove 20 yards in five plays before bringing on kicker Nick Dace for a 36-yard field goal.

Millikin drove for its lone score on its final possession, as running back Grant Shannon capped off an eight-play, 52-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run.

Crackel completed 14 of 19 passes for 206 yards. Fiedorowicz gained a career-high 103 yards on three receptions, while Joe Antonacci caught four passes for 45 yards. Kukuc led the ground game with 72 yards on 11 carries, Tassio picked up 59 yards on nine attempts, and Denzel Thompson ran 11 times for 53 yards.

Matt Wenger led North Central's defense with seven tackles, while Joey Michals finished with six. #Jim Clendenning collected two of the Cardinals' five quarterback sacks.

Millikin running back Dion Wilson, who was ranked second nationally in rushing heading into the game, was limited to 83 yards on 14 carries. Wilson had gained at least 100 yards in each of the Big Blue's five previous games. Backup quarterback Matt Holmes completed 5 of 13 passes for 58 yards. 

The Cardinals host Illinois Wesleyan University on Saturday for Homecoming, with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m.

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7:00 PM
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Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
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Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
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Trine at Manchester
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Millsaps at Belhaven
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Muhlenberg at Wilkes
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Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
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N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
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7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
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7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
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Salve Regina at Worcester State
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Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
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Endicott at Framingham State
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Kean at Christopher Newport
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King's at Moravian
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Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
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Marietta at Denison
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McDaniel at Catholic
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Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
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UW-Platteville at George Fox
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Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
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12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
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Husson at Alfred
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SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
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Cortland at Heidelberg
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Otterbein at Buffalo State
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Sewanee at Kenyon
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Plymouth State at Castleton
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1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
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Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
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Utica at Misericordia
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The Apprentice School at Methodist
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TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
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2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
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2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
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2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
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2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
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Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
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2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
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Beloit at Lake Forest
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Crown at Hamline
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Carleton at Macalester
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Bethel at Dubuque
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St. Scholastica at St. John's
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St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
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Simpson at UW-Stout
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Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
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Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
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Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
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Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
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John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
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2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
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4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
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6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
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7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
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7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
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7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
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Anderson at North Park
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Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
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St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
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8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
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8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
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8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
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Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
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