October 29, 2011

North Central Ties National Record in Rout of Elmhurst

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

Shaking off a slow start and putting together what turned out to be a night of record-setting efforts, the North Central College football team won for the seventh straight time on Saturday, rolling past the Elmhurst College Bluejays, 51-10, at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.

The sixth-ranked Cardinals (7-1, 5-0 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) won for the 14th straight time in CCIW play and extended their winning streak in regular-season home games to 22 consecutive contests. 

North Central established two new school records and tied a national NCAA Division III record on Saturday, as Josh Mitchell's 93-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter goes down as the longest in the history of the Cardinals' program. North Central has returned six interceptions for touchdowns this season, tying the national record. Kicker Nick Dace, meanwhile, converted three field-goal attempts to give him 23 for his career, also a new school record.

North Central forced an Elmhurst punt on the game's opening drive, and took its own first possession 74 yards in nine plays and got a 38-yard field goal from Dace to get on the board first. The Bluejays (4-4, 2-3 CCIW) responded with a field goal of their own as Trevor Spaulding connected on a 28-yard attempt to tie the game with 4:47 left in the opening period.

The Cardinals' second score, also a field goal, was set up by their special-teams unit, as Elmhurst returner Jon Janus mishandled a punt on his own five-yard line and Alex Tripp dove in and recovered the ball. The hosts were unable to punch the ball into the end zone, and Dace came on for a 33-yard field goal to put the Cardinals back in front. After the North Central defense forced a punt, the Cardinals traveled 58 yards in seven plays before scoring the first touchdown of the evening on a three-yard run by Jordan Tassio with 5:51 left in the first half. 

Janus' struggles continued on the ensuing kickoff, as the Cardinals' Jordan Dean forced a fumble and Greg Dickson pounced on the ball to give North Central possession once again at the Elmhurst 34.

"Two weeks in a row, we've been able to get a fumble recovery on a muffed punt," said North Central head coach John Thorne. "It was funny, because we got in the huddle and I said, 'Guys, if we can do it on the punt team, we can do it on the kickoff team too.' Maybe I need to say that more often."

Four plays later, quarterback Tyler Dicken connected with tight end Alex Haan on a 21-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 20-3. After another Bluejay punt, the Cardinals took over on offense with just 42 seconds left before halftime. Dicken, however, fired a 21-yard pass to Tassio and a 28-yard strike to Nick Hicks to put North Central in position for a third field goal by Dace. The 37-yard kick split the uprights as time ran out, sending the Cardinals into the break with a 23-3 advantage.

The Cardinals' first drive of the third quarter looked as if it would yield a field goal as well, but a botched snap forced punter Tyler Rasche to roll out and attempt a pass, which fell incomplete. Three plays later, however, the North Central defense forced a punt and the offense returned to the field. Nick Kukuc gained 34 yards on three consecutive runs to jumpstart the drive, and Tassio capped off a seven-play, 57-yard drive with a seven-yard TD run.

The Cardinals stuffed another fourth-down conversion attempt on Elmhurst's next drive, taking over on their own eight-yard line. The drive appeared to end with a punt, but a Bluejay penalty kept the drive alive. Dicken threw a 24-yard pass to Hicks and a 42-yard bomb to Bai Kabba to get North Central into the red zone, and Kukuc ran in from two yards out on the second play of the fourth quarter as the hosts took a commanding 37-3 lead.

"The offensive line really had a much better blocking half in the second half," Thorne said, "which is good to see because a lot of times you go in at halftime and you're ahead, and you come back out and play too cautious, too safe and the next thing you know the other team is back in the game."

Elmhurst scored its lone touchdown of the night on the next drive, as a 59-yard, six-play drive culminated in a 24-yard TD pass from Joe Furco to Andrew Tubek with 12:13 to play. The Bluejays came up with an interception on North Central's next drive, but were unable to move the ball and turned it over on downs at their own 47. Kukuc ran for 35 yards on the next play from scrimmage, and Dicken followed by calling his own number for a 12-yard scoring run with 10:21 to play, boosting the lead to 44-10. Mitchell capped off the scoring by returning an interception for a touchdown for the second time this season on the next drive. 

The Cardinals finished the game with 529 yards of total offense. Dicken completed 18 of 33 passes for a season-high 325 yards, as Hicks established career highs in leading the team in receptions (7) and receiving yards (118). Kukuc broke the 100-yard barrier for the third straight week, gaining 141 yards on 18 carries. 

"They were doing a lot of things to try to confuse Tyler, and I thought he had a really solid game," Thorne pointed out.  The receivers are getting better at reading secondaries, and Nick Kukuc and Jordan Tassio both had some really big runs."

The North Central defense, which did not allow a third-down conversion in 13 attempts, was led by Joey Michals, who finished with nine tackles, two tackles for loss, a quarterback sack and a forced fumble. Josh McLeod added seven stops and Shane Dierking contributed three pass breakups. 

Furco completed 20 of 40 passes for 237 yards, as Joe St. Peter led the Elmhurst receiving corps with 52 yards on six catches. Bluejay running back Scottie Williams, who entered Saturday's action averaging 144 rushing yards per game, was limited to 74 yards on 16 carries. Wayne Tuckson led the Elmhurst defense with nine tackles.

North Central hosts 13th-ranked Wheaton College (7-1, 4-1 CCIW) on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the annual Battle for the Little Brass Bell. 

comments powered by Disqus
Oct. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Johns Hopkins 42, at Dickinson 7
Box Score Recap
Oct. 18: All times Eastern
Final
MIT 52, at Nichols 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Colby 47, Hamilton 14
Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
Western Connecticut 20, at Fitchburg State 14
Box Score
Final
at Maine Maritime 13, Coast Guard 7
Box Score
Final
at Salve Regina 49, Curry 6
Box Score Photos
Final
Westfield State 32, at Massachusetts Maritime 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Juniata 38, Ursinus 10
Box Score
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 17, at Bowdoin 10
Box Score
Final
at Husson 12, Gallaudet 6
Box Score Recap
Final
at Middlebury 35, Bates 6
Box Score
Final
at Mount Ida 26, Castleton State 21
Box Score Recap
Final
Kean 30, at William Paterson 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Cortland State 35, Southern Virginia 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 31, McDaniel 7
Box Score
Final
Ohio Wesleyan 23, at DePauw 16
Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 24, at Moravian 21
Box Score Photos
Final
Washington and Jefferson 34, at Bethany 3
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Shenandoah 24, at Catholic 14
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Concordia (Wis.) 49, at Trine 46
Box Score
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 49, Emory and Henry 27
Box Score
Final
at Washington and Lee 28, Randolph-Macon 25
Box Score
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 21, Grove City 10
Box Score Photos
Final
at Guilford 35, Bridgewater (Va.) 28
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Widener 59, Wilkes 12
Box Score
Final
Methodist 73, at LaGrange 28
Box Score
Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 39, at Greensboro 14
Box Score Photos
Final
Brockport State 45, at Alfred 42
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Huntingdon 35, at Ferrum 16
Box Score
Final - 2OT
at Frostburg State 38, Ithaca 37
Box Score Recap
Final
Waynesburg 26, at Westminster (Pa.) 21
Final
at Muhlenberg 47, Gettysburg 6
Box Score Recap
Final
Wabash 52, at Kenyon 10
Box Score Recap
Final
at Salisbury 59, Hartwick 49
Box Score Photos
Final
at Bridgewater State 24, Plymouth State 0
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Utica 7
Box Score Recap
Final
King's 45, at FDU-Florham 17
Final
at Rochester 34, RPI 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Berry 46, Hendrix 24
Box Score Recap
Cancelled
Maranatha Baptist at Washington U.
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 35, Greenville 28
Box Score Recap
Final - OT
Amherst 33, at Wesleyan 30
Box Score
Final
at Tufts 27, Williams 20
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Case Western Reserve 33, Geneva 19
Box Score Photos
Final
Franklin 38, at Mount St. Joseph 28
Box Score
Final
at Thomas More 49, St. Vincent 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Baldwin Wallace 56, at Wilmington 17
Box Score Photos
Final
at Mount Union 58, Heidelberg 17
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
Rose-Hulman 28, at Defiance 12
Box Score
Final
at John Carroll 80, Marietta 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Anderson 37, Hanover 35
Box Score
Final
Bluffton 24, at Earlham 22
Box Score Recap
Final
Otterbein 32, at Muskingum 20
Box Score
Final
at Springfield 48, Merchant Marine 21
Box Score
Final
Ohio Northern 38, at Capital 31
Box Score
Final - OT
at Hope 42, Olivet 35
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Kalamazoo 45, Alma 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Rowan 31, Morrisville State 0
Box Score Recap
Final
Oberlin 37, at Allegheny 9
Box Score Recap
Final
Lakeland 34, at Rockford 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Bethel 52, Chicago 21
Box Score Photos
Final
Wisconsin Lutheran 59, at Concordia-Chicago 15
Box Score
Final
Centre 31, at Sewanee 3
Box Score
Final
St. John's 29, at Gustavus Adolphus 19
Box Score Photos
Final
St. Olaf 17, at Carleton 13
Box Score
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 41, at Augsburg 21
Box Score
Final
Monmouth 31, at Lake Forest 7
Box Score
Final
Birmingham-Southern 16, at Millsaps 14
Box Score
Final
Coe 35, at Simpson 21
Box Score
Final
at Buena Vista 48, Luther 41
Box Score
Final
Macalester 28, at Beloit 21
Box Score
Final
at St. Norbert 13, Ripon 10
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Louisiana College 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Augustana 7, at Illinois Wesleyan 2
Box Score Recap
Final
at Central 41, Loras 14
Box Score Recap
Final
MacMurray 58, at Eureka 27
Box Score
Final
at UW-La Crosse 21, UW-Stout 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Illinois College 35, at Grinnell 10
Box Score
Final
at Iowa Wesleyan 37, Westminster (Mo.) 21
Box Score
Final
Benedictine 26, at Aurora 0
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 62, at Hamline 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Norwich 37, at Becker 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Worcester State 50, Mass-Dartmouth 43
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 19, Sul Ross State 12
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wartburg 42, Dubuque 9
Box Score
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 37, UW-River Falls 7
Box Score
Final
Delaware Valley 35, at Stevenson 13
Box Score Recap
Final
SUNY-Maritime 40, at Anna Maria 12
Box Score Recap
Final
Wittenberg 42, at Wooster 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Wesley 70, at Menlo 2
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
St. Scholastica 49, at Martin Luther 14
Box Score
Final
Austin 27, at Southwestern Assemblies 20
Photos
Final
UW-Whitewater 52, at UW-Eau Claire 3
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 53, Carthage 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Platteville 31, UW-Stevens Point 13
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Elmhurst 28, North Park 0
Final
at Cornell 49, Knox 29
Box Score
Final
at Montclair State 28, TCNJ 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Western New England 36, at Union 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Carroll 76, Lawrence 7
Box Score
Final
at Pacific 31, Pacific Lutheran 28
Box Score Recap
Final
at Cal Lutheran 41, Pomona-Pitzer 17
Box Score Photos
Final
at Willamette 45, Lewis and Clark 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Puget Sound 33, at George Fox 14
Box Score
Final
at Linfield 65, Whitworth 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Adrian 47, Albion 26
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
Christopher Newport 38, at Averett 7
Box Score
Final
at Alfred State 10, Erie CC 3
Box Score Photos
Final
at Crown 30, Minnesota-Morris 27
Box Score
Final
at Trinity (Texas) 22, Southwestern 19
Box Score
Final
Howard Payne 54, at East Texas Baptist 53
Box Score
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 28, at Millikin 3
Box Score
Final
at Whittier 36, La Verne 17
Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at Redlands 31, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Chapman 59, Occidental 21
Box Score
Oct. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 28, at Millikin 3
Box Score
Final
Wesley 70, at Menlo 2
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Wittenberg 42, at Wooster 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Delaware Valley 35, at Stevenson 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 58, Heidelberg 17
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Thomas More 49, St. Vincent 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at John Carroll 80, Marietta 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 49, Emory and Henry 27
Box Score
Final
Wabash 52, at Kenyon 10
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Utica 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Washington and Jefferson 34, at Bethany 3
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 53, Carthage 23
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Whitewater 52, at UW-Eau Claire 3
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Platteville 31, UW-Stevens Point 13
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Wartburg 42, Dubuque 9
Box Score
Final
St. Thomas 62, at Hamline 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Bethel 52, Chicago 21
Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Louisiana College 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 41, at Augsburg 21
Box Score
Final
St. John's 29, at Gustavus Adolphus 19
Box Score Photos
Final
at Linfield 65, Whitworth 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Pacific 31, Pacific Lutheran 28
Box Score Recap
Oct. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Johns Hopkins 42, at Dickinson 7
Box Score Recap

What We're Reading