/seasons/2012/contrib/20121103g2cyjn

Little Brass Bell Changes Hands as North Central Falls to Wheaton

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

The home portion of the regular-season schedule came to a disappointing end for the North Central College football team on Saturday, as the Cardinals suffered a 35-21 loss to College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) rival Wheaton College on Senior Day at Benedetti-Werhli Stadium.

The loss was the first in conference play for the seventh-ranked Cardinals (7-2, 5-1 CCIW) since a 28-22 overtime setback at Illinois Wesleyan University on Oct. 31, 2009, snapping a 21-game winning streak in CCIW play. The 24th-ranked Thunder posted their first win over North Central since 2007 and regained possession of the Little Brass Bell, the traveling trophy between the two teams, after four straight defeats.

"Wheaton played great football," said North Central head coach John Thorne. "They deserved to win. They ran faster, they hit harder, and they executed better. Their coaches did a great job getting them ready and their players really played a great game."

North Central and Wheaton are now both part of a three-way tie for first place in the CCIW standings with Elmhurst College. The Cardinals can receive the CCIW's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Football Championship with a win next Saturday at Augustana College and a win by Elmhurst over Illinois Wesleyan.

"We've got to put some stuff back together and see if we're good enough to beat Augustana now," Thorne said. "These seniors have been a great group to have here, and they have been working very hard to win this championship. We cannot let all that hard work go to waste."

Wheaton (7-2, 5-1) opened the scoring with one of several extended offensive drives in the first period, driving 87 yards in 17 plays and eating up more than eight minutes of game clock before quarterback Jordan Roberts rolled to his right and found fullback Stephen Seitz for a two-yard touchdown pass with 4:10 on the clock. The Thunder were in position to score again before Cardinal linebacker Joey Michals intercepted a pass deep in North Central territory and returned it 60 yards to the Wheaton 38-yard line. 

North Central signal-caller Spencer Stanek called his own number on a 33-yard option run to set the Cardinals up at the Wheaton three-yard line, and Nick Kukuctook an option pitch from Jordan Tassio from a yard out on third down to tie the score at 7-7 with 11:25 left in the second quarter.

Wheaton pulled ahead once again midway through the second period on a one-play drive. After taking possession on his own 39 following a Cardinal punt, Roberts connected with wideout Morgan Cook for a 61-yard TD pass which wound up sending the Thunder into halftime with a 14-7 advantage.

The visitors took control of the game in the third period with a pair of lengthy scoring drives. The Thunder took the first possession of the second half 70 yards in 10 plays and scored on Roberts' six-yard run. A North Central fumble, one of four lost Cardinal fumbles during the afternoon, was recovered by Wheaton's Brett Anderson and Thunder's two-yard line. Wheaton then embarked on a 17-play, 98-yard trek which ended in Roberts running in for another score, this time from five yards out. 

North Central threatened to return to contention early in the fourth quarter, as Stanek completed a 47-yard TD pass to Halaiano Fuentes and the Cardinals took over following a missed Wheaton field goal on the ensuing drive. The hosts drove into Wheaton territory once again, but Stanek was sacked and fumbled at the Thunder 28. Wheaton linebacker Pat Dansdill scooped up the ball and rambled 72 yards for a score to boost the guests' lead to 35-14 with 4:55 to play.

The Cardinals' final drive of the day began on their own two-yard line, but Stanek was able to bring the North Central offense down the field for one final score, completing five of seven passes for 62 yards and finding Jeff Stolzenburg for a 10-yard TD pass with 2:05 left.

Stanek finished the day 24 of 37 passing for 334 yards and also rushed for 48 yards on 10 carries. Nick Kukuc posted a team-high 49 rushing yards on nine attempts while Ryne Rezac grabbed a career-high seven passes for 71 yards andChad O'Kane caught six passes for 80 yards. Michals tallied a season-high 14 tackles for the Cardinals' defense, while Shane Dierking made 11 stops andQuinn Haas tallied eight tackles and an interception.

Wheaton outgained the Cardinals, 480-442, posting the highest yardage total by a North Central opponent this season. Roberts completed 32 of 46 passes for 380 yards and ran for 46 yards on 13 carries. Mark Hiben caught a game-high 12 passes for 127 yards and Cook hauled in 11 passes for 181 yards. Dansdill made 14 tackles for the Thunder.

The Cardinals close the regular season at Augustana on Saturday. Kickoff at Ericson Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Moravian at King's
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
Live Stats
7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Video Live Stats Live Stats
12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
1:00 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
1:00 PM
Heidelberg at Olivet
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Union at Husson
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live Stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Greensboro at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
2:00 PM
Carthage at Aurora
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
5:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
North Park at Anderson
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
8:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
Video
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
Live Stats
Maintenance in progress.