December 4, 2010

North Central's Playoff Run Halted by Defending Champs

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

The North Central College football team was denied in its bid to win the first quarterfinal playoff game in the program's history, as the defending NCAA Division III national champion, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, took advantage of a series of late turnovers to record a 20-10 victory over the Cardinals at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.

The Warhawks (13-0) never led until the fourth period, when they scored three times, each following a North Central turnover, to put an end to the Cardinals' 2010 campaign.

Both offenses fired warning shots at their counterparts at the start of the contest, each scoring on their first possession. The Cardinals took their opening drive 88 yards in seven plays, as Spencer Stanek was 5 for 5 passing for 85 yards, including a 47-yard completion to Steve Hlavac that set the hosts up with a first-and-goal at the one-yard line. Nick Kukuc covered the remaining ground on the next play and North Central held an early 7-0 advantage.

UW-Whitewater took to the air on its first play from scrimmage, as quarterback Lee Brekke heaved a 50-yard pass to Adam Brandes. Brekke found Brandes in the end zone three plays later for a 10-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.

The Cardinals did not threaten to score the rest of the first half, but did step up on defense to thwart a Whitewater opportunity. With the Warhawks operating from the North Central 15, Brekke threw to the end zone and was intercepted by Scott Hogan.

A long pass play to Hlavac also set up the Cardinals' next score midway through the third period. On first down from his own 30-yard line, Stanek threw to Hlavac for 50 yards, setting the home team up at the UWW 20. The drive stalled at the 14, and Nick Dace came on to kick a 32-yard field goal with 6:32 on the clock. The field goal was Dace's 13th of the season, tying the North Central single-season record.

North Central forced a punt on the Warhawks' next possession, taking over at its own four-yard line, but Stanek's third-down pass was picked off by UWW's Sam Overton, leaving the visitors just 19 yards from the goal line as the third quarter ended.

Brekke scrambled to his right and found the end zone from five yards out with 13:46 left in the game to give the Warhawks their first lead at 14-10. UWW got another short field when Luke Hibner recovered a fumble at the Cardinals' 39. A series of six straight runs by tailback Levell Coppage moved the Warhawks to the 10-yard line, and kicker Eric Kindler booted a 27-yard field goal with 6:06 to play to boost the lead to 17-10.

Hibner came up big for the Whitewater defense on the ensuing drive, returning an interception 43 yards to the North Central three-yard line. The Cardinals' defense stood tall and kept the Warhawks out of the end zone, but Kindler was able to tack on a 19-yard field goal with 2:03 to play.

The Cardinals did wind up outgaining Whitewater, 306-253. Stanek was 15 of 24 passing for 207 yards and Jordan Tassio was North Central's top ground gainer with 44 yards on 12 carries. Hlavac caught seven passes for 130 yards, becoming the Cardinals' all-time leader in career receptions (179).

Matt Wenger recorded 13 tackles (10 solo) and three tackles for loss fo the Cardinals, while Kane Thompson and Josh McLeod each made six stops.

Coppage ran 29 times for 107 yards for the Warhawks, as Brekke was 9 of 16 passing for 113 yards and Brandes made five catches for 92 yards. Linebacker Lane Olson was Whitewater's top tackler with 11.

The Cardinals finish the season with an overall record of 12-1, setting a new North Central record for wins in a single season.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
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
Live Stats
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
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
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
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
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
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos