/seasons/2012/contrib/20120909f02742

North Central Gains Redemption with Lopsided Win

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

Faced with the task of making amends for a pair of season-opening losses on Saturday evening, the North Central College football team did just that, executing efficiently on both sides of the ball and overwhelming the 14th-ranked University of Redlands (Calif.) Bulldogs, 42-16, at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.

The victory got the 13th-ranked Cardinals (1-1) into the win column following their 21-17 loss to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse last weekend and also gained North Central some revenge for last season's 35-29 loss at Redlands.

"We knew we needed to get better and get back to fundamentals," said senior running back Nick Kukuc, who scored four of the Cardinals' six touchdowns. "Today, we were assignment-sound and we were able to find the end zone. We still need to improve from week to week - three-and-outs, little mental errors, and turnovers can't happen if you're going to be a championship team."

The teams traded extended scoring drives to begin the game. North Central opened the evening with a 12-play, 76-yard possession which ended when Kukuc hauled in a pass from Spencer Stanek and evaded a host of would-be tacklers for an 11-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs (0-1), however, responded with a 13-play, 72-yard jaunt and got a one-yard touchdown run from tailback Brad Crisanty with 4:56 left in the opening period to tie the game at 7-7.

The Cardinals' next touchdown drive started midway through the second quarter after Josh Mitchell returned a Redlands punt 24 yards to the North Central 42-yard line. Stanek completed a pair of passes to Jeff Stolzenburg, totaling 39 yards, to get the Cardinals in striking distance before Kukuc ran eight yards for the TD with 6:58 left before the half. After North Central's defense forced a punt, Stanek engineered a seven-play, 54-yard scoring drive which ended with Kukuc's four-yard TD run with 1:41 left in the period. 

Redlands' attempt to pick up a quick score before the end of the half was thwarted by Cardinal safety Nick Slezak, who intercepted a pass and set the hosts up on the Bulldogs' 48 -yard line with 29 seconds left. Stanek's screen pass to Kukuc covered 46 yards and Jordan Tassio covered the final two yards on the next play to send the Cardinals into halftime with a commanding 28-7 advantage.

After surrendering the first Redlands touchdown, the Cardinals' defense limited the Bulldogs to 45 yards on their final six drives of the opening half.

"We tackled a whole lot better after that first drive," said North Central defensive coordinator Rick Ponx. "We slipped on some big plays and some arm tackles that they ran through, and that's all we talked about on the sideline. We stuck to our game plan and we didn't get rattled the rest of the first half."

The third period opened with a rare sequence of passing plays, as three straight plays from scrimmage resulted in interceptions. Slezak came up with his second pick of the night at the Redlands 33, but Tassio fired a deep pass on the ensuing play and was intercepted by the Bulldogs' Vince DiPiero at the visitors' one-yard line. Cardinal cornerback Josh Mitchell, however, claimed an interception of his own at the Redlands 10. Two plays later, Tassio scored from eight yards out to extend the lead to 35-7.

Redlands managed to put together a sustained drive on the next possession, but the Cardinals' Alex Tripp recovered a fumble on the North Central 13 to halt the Bulldogs' process. The Cardinals needed just seven plays to cover 87 yards, highlighted by a 32-yard pass from Stanek to Chad O'Kane, and Kukuc ran in from 10 yards away to extend the lead to its largest at 42-7.

The Cardinals surrendered a safety early in the fourth quarter, as Redlands punter Scotty Miller pinned North Central on its own one-yard line and Stanek was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone on the next play. The final score of the day came when Redlands drove 95 yards in 12 plays against the Cardinals' backups and scored on a six-yard run by Curtis Tanquary with 52 seconds remaining.

Kukuc finished with 60 yards on nine carries, while Stanek completed 12 of 16 passes for 184 yards. Ryne Rezac was the Cardinals' top receiver, making five grabs for 42 yards. 

North Central's defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions, and recorded 11 tackles for loss. Shane Dierking recorded a team-high nine tackles and Tripp posted 2.5 tackles for loss. Trey Hartema also intercepted a pass in the second half. 

"This week we really re-wrote our game plan," Ponx said. "We looked at last year's film and what they did to us, and we knew we had to stop the pass. I was happy with the interceptions. We're playing a little different coverage so it's giving us quicker reads."

Redlands quarterback Chad Hurst completed 13 of 32 passes for 122 yards. Tanquary was the Bulldogs' top rusher with 79 yards on nine carries and linebacker Greyson Allman paced the defense with five tackles.

North Central travels to the University of Wisconsin-Stout on Saturday, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. The Blue Devils opened the season Saturday with a 31-0 victory over Jamestown College (N.D.)

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
Video Video Box Score Recap
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 29, Westfield State 14
Video Box Score
Final
Moravian 20, at Juniata 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Salve Regina 41, Endicott 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Thomas More 63, St. Vincent 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Union 28, Hobart 23
Video
Final
at Hamilton 27, Colby 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Christopher Newport 27, William Paterson 19
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Ithaca 35, St. John Fisher 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Allegheny 44, Kenyon 35
Video Box Score
Final
SUNY-Maritime 21, at Mount Ida 13
Video Box Score
Final
Middlebury 43, at Bates 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
Video Box Score
Final
at Amherst 23, Wesleyan 19
Video Box Score
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 63, Bowdoin 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 48, at Gallaudet 21
Box Score
Final
Wabash 35, at Oberlin 21
Video
Final
at Utica 34, Buffalo State 12
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Ohio Northern 7, at Muskingum 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
Video Box Score
Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
Video Box Score
Final
at Stevenson 26, Albright 23
Box Score
Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Albion 31, Alma 28
Video Box Score
Final
at Guilford 45, Shenandoah 20
Box Score Photos
Final
Plymouth State 40, at Massachusetts Maritime 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wooster 58, at Hiram 25
Video Box Score
Final
Washington and Lee 36, at Hampden-Sydney 6
Video Box Score
Final
at Anna Maria 36, Alfred State 34
Box Score
Final
Bridgewater 31, at Emory and Henry 23
Video Box Score
Final
at FDU-Florham 49, Wilkes 31
Video
Final
Lebanon Valley 17, at Misericordia 0
Video
Final
at St. Lawrence 36, Rochester 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
RPI 30, at Alfred 15
Video
Final
at Curry 46, Nichols 16
Video Box Score
Final
at Salisbury 42, Southern Virginia 0
Video Box Score
Final
Ferrum 27, at Brevard 24
Video Box Score
Final
Randolph-Macon 63, at Apprentice 14
Box Score
Final
at Susquehanna 21, Ursinus 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 34, at Morrisville State 20
Video Box Score
Final
at Trine 50, Hope 14
Box Score
Final
Trinity (Texas) 27, at Sewanee 21
Video Box Score
Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
Video
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 56, Dickinson 0
Video Video Box Score
Final
Tufts 21, at Williams 13
Video Box Score
Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
Video Box Score
Final
MIT 30, at Coast Guard 21
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Norwich 24, Maine Maritime 22
Video Box Score
Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
Video Box Score
Final
Franklin 29, at Rose-Hulman 22
Video Box Score
Final
John Carroll 48, at Capital 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Manchester 28, Bluffton 21
Video Box Score
Final
Mount St. Joseph 71, at Anderson 27
Video Box Score
Final
UW-Whitewater 20, at UW-River Falls 7
Video
Final
Kean 26, at TCNJ 3
Video
Final
at LaGrange 59, Greensboro 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Worcester State 45, Mass-Dartmouth 40
Video Box Score
Final
Muhlenberg 40, at McDaniel 13
Video Box Score
Final
Western New England 45, at Becker 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Maryville (Tenn.) 35, Methodist 14
Video Box Score
Final
Adrian 36, at Kalamazoo 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Denison 31, at Ohio Wesleyan 20
Video
Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
Video Live stats Audio Audio
Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
Box Score Video
Final
at Benedictine 43, Olivet 37
Video Box Score
Final
Birmingham-Southern 31, at Austin 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Stout 23, UW-Stevens Point 17
Video
Final
Eureka 37, at MacMurray 20
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
Video Box Score
Final
Nebraska Wesleyan 14, at Buena Vista 13
Video Box Score
Final
Lakeland 48, at Wisconsin Lutheran 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Aurora 28, Rockford 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Concordia-Chicago 37, Concordia (Wis.) 17
Video Box Score
Final
at St. Olaf 29, Carleton 26
Video
Final
at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
Box Score
Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
Box Score Video
Final
Westminster (Mo.) 24, at Greenville 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Loras 44, Coe 38
Video
Final
Monmouth 61, at Cornell 10
Video
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 56, at North Park 0
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Martin Luther
Video Live stats
Final
Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
Box Score Photos
Final
at Lake Forest 70, Grinnell 6
Video Box Score Photos
2:00 PM
Carroll at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio
Final
at Macalester 47, Ripon 31
Video Box Score
Final
at St. Norbert 38, Lawrence 6
Video Box Score
Final
St. Scholastica 49, at Crown 21
Video
Final
at Iowa Wesleyan 24, Minnesota-Morris 17
Box Score
Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
Video Box Score
Final
at WPI 41, Merchant Marine 7
Box Score
2:30 PM
Rhodes at Centre
Video Preview Live stats
Final
Hanover 49, at Earlham 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Chicago 55, Beloit 12
Video Box Score
15:00, 4th Qtr.
42 UW-Oshkosh
28 UW-La Crosse
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Simpson at Dubuque
Video Live stats Audio
15:00 4Q
0 Augustana
41 North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
Live stats
10:30 2ndQ
0 Hartwick
24 Brockport
Video Live stats
2nd - 04:17
7 Western Connecticut
7 Bridgewater State
Video Live stats
3rd
10 Chapman
9 La Verne
Video Preview Preview Live stats
Halftime
10 Pacific
7 Lewis and Clark
Video Live stats Audio Audio Tickets
End of 2nd
21 Pacific Lutheran
0 Willamette
Video Preview Live stats
6:18 2nd
7 Puget Sound
24 Whitworth
Video Preview Live stats Audio
Start of 3rd
12 Redlands
17 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Video Preview Live stats Audio
2:21 2nd
0 George Fox
3 Linfield
Video Preview Live stats Audio
5:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Howard Payne
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Dean at Castleton
Video Preview Live stats Tickets
6:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Averett
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Otterbein
Video Preview Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Thiel
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Knox at Illinois College
Video Live stats
10:00 PM
Whittier at Cal Lutheran
Video Live stats
Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
Video Video Box Score Recap
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
Video Box Score
Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
Video Box Score
Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
Video Box Score
Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
Video
Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
Video Box Score
Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
Video Live stats Audio Audio
Final
Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
Video Box Score
Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
Video
Final
at St. John's 41, Gustavus Adolphus 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 13, Carthage 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 42, Augsburg 20
Box Score
Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
Box Score Video
Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
Video Box Score
15:00, 4th Qtr.
42 UW-Oshkosh
28 UW-La Crosse
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
15:00 4Q
0 Augustana
41 North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
10:30 2ndQ
0 Hartwick
24 Brockport
Video Live stats
2:21 2nd
0 George Fox
3 Linfield
Video Audio Live stats Preview
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Video Preview Live stats