/seasons/2010/contrib/20101120yza8vu

North Central Cruises to First-Round Win

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

Scoring on their first nine possessions, the North Central College football team leaped into the postseason on Saturday. The Cardinals came out firing on all cylinders, dismantling St. Norbert College (Wis.), 57-7, in the first round of the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.

North Central (11-0), seeded first in the North Region heading into the contest, saw its offense carve up the eighth-seeded Green Knights for 612 yards of total offense, the fourth-highest total in school history and the most the Cardinals have ever compiled in a postseason game. 

The Cardinals needed less than two minutes to establish a lead they would not relinquish. After three straight runs by Jordan Tassio to open the game's first drive, quarterback Spencer Stanek fired his first pass attempt toward tight end Kyle Fiedorowicz, who shook off a pair of would-be tacklers and rambled 41 yards for a touchdown. After the North Central defense forced a punt, Stanek connected with Fiedorowicz for a 45-yard gain that left the Cardinals knocking on the door at the St. Norbert four-yard line. A three-yard TD toss to Jeff Grunwald doubled the home team's advantage to 14-0 with 8:08 remaining in the opening period.

The Green Knights' next drive came to an end at the North Central 29, as Josh McLeod picked off his seventh pass of the season. A series of running plays by Stanek and Nick Kukuc moved the Cardinals into the visitors' half of the field. On second down at the St. Norbert 37, Stanek scurried away from an oncoming pass rush and uncorked a deep pass to Manny Juarez, who eluded a pair of defenders and advanced to the end zone for a 20-0 Cardinal lead.

North Central came up with a second interception on the ensuing drive, as Scott Skuteris made a diving grab at the 50-yard line early in the second period. The Cardinals drove to the 14 and got a 31-yard field goal from Nick Dace, extending the advantage to 23-0. 

Following a Green Knights punt, the Cardinals put together a nine-play, 59-yard scoring jaunt that culminated with a one-yard TD run by Tassio. With 48 seconds left in the half, the Cardinals' offense took the field once again and wound up having just enough time to visit the end zone once again, as Stanek completed a 49-yard TD pass to Joe Antonacci with just 11 seconds on the clock. North Central headed into halftime with a 36-0 edge.

A 38-yard run by Tassio jumpstarted North Central's first drive of the second half, which ended with a one-yard scoring run by Kukuc. Denzel Thompson was the pivotal figure in the following Cardinal possession, carrying four times for 32 yards and scoring on a six-yard TD run. 

Brad Crackel, who came on midway through the third period to see his first action since Oct. 30 at Elmhurst, authored the final North Central score. Facing third-and-long at the St. Norbert 45, Crackel threw a screen pass to Nick Hicks, who darted down the right sideline for the touchdown. 

The Green Knights (7-4) scored on their final possession of the contest, traveling 63 yards on nine plays and scoring on a one-yard run by quarterback Rob Berger.

Tassio finished with 87 rushing yards on 10 carries, while Thompson ran 15 times for 77 yards and Kukuc gained 66 yards on 10 carries. Stanek completed 12 of 14 passes for 262 yards, while Crackel was 4 for 5 for 71 yards. Juarez finished as the Cardinals' top receiver with 67 yards on four catches.

Joey Michals was North Central's top tackler with seven tackles, while Shane Dierking also contributed an interception. The Cardinals limited St. Norbert to 271 yards, 143 of which came in the fourth period.

Berger completed 15 of 33 passes for 192 yards and was the Green Knights' top rusher with 65 yards on 12 carries. Ben Nantell was St. Norbert's leading tackler with nine stops.

The Cardinals host Ohio Northern University (10-1) next week in the second round, with kickoff scheduled for 12:00 noon. The Polar Bears defeated Wittenberg University (Ohio), 37-14, in the opening round.

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
Video Box Score
Final
at Dean 25, Becker 10
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
Box Score
Final
MIT 38, at Catholic 21
Video Box Score
Final
Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
Video Box Score
Final
at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Albright 9, Widener 7
Video
Final
Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
Video Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
Video
Final
Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Williams 24, at Colby 7
Video Box Score
Final
Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
Video Box Score
Final
Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
Video Box Score
Final
Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
Video
Final
at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
Video Box Score
Final
Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Union 17, at Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Lycoming 44, at King's 41
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Western New England 21, Husson 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
Video
Final
at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
Video Box Score
Final
Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
Video Video Box Score
Final - OT
at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
Video Video Preview Box Score
Final
at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Eureka 44, Crown 20
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
Box Score
Final
at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
Video
Final
Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
Video Box Score
Final
Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
Video Box Score
Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
Video Video Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
Video Box Score
Final
at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
Video Preview Box Score Live stats
Final
at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
Video Box Score
Final
Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
Video Box Score
Final
at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
Video Box Score
Final
Simpson 38, at Coe 33
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Knox 13, Ripon 6
Video
Final
at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
Box Score
Final
Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
Video Box Score
Final
Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
Video Box Score
Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Springfield 42, WPI 10
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
Video
Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
Video Box Score
Final - OT
at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
Video Preview Box Score
Final
at Averett 35, Methodist 6
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 28, Centre 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
Video
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
Final - OT
at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
Video Preview Box Score Photos
Final
Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
Video Video Box Score
Final
at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
Box Score Recap
Final
Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
Video Box Score
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
Video Box Score
Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
Video Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Box Score Photos Recap
Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
Video
Final
at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
Video Box Score Recap