September 14, 2013

No. 6 North Central Posts Record Yardage Output in Opening Win

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

The North Central College football team enjoyed a promising start to the 2013 campaign, breaking open a close game in the second half and setting a single-game school record for total offense in a 41-24 victory at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

The sixth-ranked Cardinals compiled 674 total yards, breaking the previous North Central record of 669 set against Millikin University in 2011. They ran 90 plays and completed six touchdown drives which covered at least 73 yards each. North Central put the game away with three straight scores in the second half and matched its highest opening-game point total since a 44-27 win over Benedictine University in 2005. 

Leading the offensive charge was senior quarterback Spencer Stanek, who completed 26 of 35 passes for 330 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for a team-high 106 yards and two scores on 15 carries. His passing yardage total is the second-highest of his career, eclipsed only by a 361-yard outing at Cornell College in 2010, while his rushing total was just six yards shy of his output from the entire 2012 season.

"It was great to come out here and win," Stanek said. "It's always nice to start the season like this. We were communicating well on the field and completing plays to maintain that momentum."

After allowing the game's first touchdown, the Cardinals' defense stepped up its performance as well, ending seven Eagle drives in three plays or less and limiting the hosts to 264 total yards, more than 200 less than UW-La Crosse recorded in last week's season opener against the University of Dubuque.

"I'm really happy for the guys," said North Central head coach John Thorne. "This is a good program here, and our guys worked hard and came together the way they were supposed to.

"I thought we were moving the ball quite a bit, but I didn't realize we had that many yards. More and more programs are going to this faster system. We practiced it all spring and through camp, and that's what we're going to try to do. You have to have a lot of depth, and I don't know if we have enough depth on defense, but we did a good enough job on offense to get them enough rest."

The Eagles (0-2) traveled 57 yards in eight plays on the game's first drive, scoring on Andy Sires' eight-yard touchdown pass to Chris Stackhouse. North Central started its first drive on its own nine-yard line, but a six-play drive, highlighted by a 35-yard pass from Stanek to Chad O'Kane and a 21-yard run by Oshayne Brownfinished with Stanek running for a 12-yard TD with 10:30 on the first-quarter clock.

After a UWL punt, the Cardinals ran the ball seven times in a 10-play, 73-yard drive and pulled ahead for the first time when Stanek ran 13 yards for a second touchdown with 4:39 still remaining in the opening period. A trio of first-down completions moved the Eagles into North Central territory on the following possession, and a 22-yard field goal from kicker Matt Van Druten narrowed the lead to 14-10 near the end of the first quarter.

Stanek nearly added a third rushing TD in the second quarter, covering 23 yards on a pair of runs to leave the visitors just one yard short of the goal line. Matt Randolph dove into the end zone with 3:01 left in the half, increasing the Cardinals' lead to 21-10, where it would stand at halftime. 

North Central opened the second half on offense and drove to near midfield before losing a fumble. Eagle linebacker Andrew Walsh scooped up the ball and returned it 53 yards to the end zone, closing the gap to 21-17 less than two minutes after play resumed.

The Cardinals responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive which featured 14-yard runs by Randolph and Stanek before Stanek found A.J. Thomas in the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown pass. After forcing UWL's offense to go three-and-out, the Cardinals tacked on another score. Stanek completed a 22-yard first-down pass to O'Kane on third-and-12 and threw a 20-yard strike to Peter Sorenson to put North Central on the one-yard line before Ryan Kent covered the remaining distance for a 35-17 lead with 3:58 left in the third quarter.

North Central's final scoring drive of the day started at the Cardinals' 15-yard line. An 11-yard pass to Kent and a 35-yard toss to Randolph got the guests into enemy territory, and Stanek's eight-yard run set North Central up with a first down at the Eagles' 11. Tyler Dicken entered the contest at quarterback and ran the ball on the final two plays of the possession, including a six-yard TD run with 5:12 to play.

O'Kane and Sorenson each established new career highs for receptions and receiving yards, as O'Kane made nine grabs for 105 yards and Sorenson caught eight passes for 142 yards. Randolph gained 80 yards on 11 rushing attempts, while Kent gained 76 yards on 13 carries and Brown ran 10 times for 54 yards. Stanek passed NCC Athletic Hall of Famer Luther Selbo '68 for third place on the Cardinals' all-time list in passing yards (4,384).

The Cardinals' defense was led by Nick Slezak's nine tackles, while John Focosirecorded three tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks. Shane Dierkingintercepted a pass in the second quarter, giving him nine for his career to tie for eighth all-time at North Central. 

Cardinal kicker Nick Dace connected on five of six extra-point attempts, giving him sole possession of North Central's career scoring record (289).

North Central opens the home portion of its schedule next Saturday, hosting the University of Wisconsin-Stout (2-0). Kickoff at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 18: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Christopher Newport at N.C. Wesleyan
Live Stats Video
Sep. 19: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Framingham State at Fitchburg State
Live Stats Video
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
TBA
TBA at Emory and Henry
12:00 PM
RPI at Castleton State
Live Stats Video Tickets
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at Massachusetts Maritime
Preview Live Stats Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Gallaudet at Rochester
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Alfred State at Husson
Preview Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Randolph-Macon
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Moravian at Johns Hopkins
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Utica
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Alfred at Buffalo State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Newport News Apprentice at Catholic
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Becker at Nichols
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Wesleyan at Middlebury
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Worcester State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hamilton at Tufts
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Bates at Amherst
Preview Live Stats
1:00 PM
Colby at Trinity (Conn.)
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Salve Regina at William Paterson
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Stevenson
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Allegheny at Hiram
Live Stats Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Merchant Marine
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at St. Vincent
Preview Video
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Thiel
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Ursinus at Franklin and Marshall
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Endicott at Kean
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Coast Guard at Hampden-Sydney
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Averett
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Albright at Widener
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Hobart at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
LaGrange at Greensboro
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Dickinson
Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Misericordia
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Juniata at Gettysburg
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Lincoln (Pa.) at Montclair State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wabash at Denison
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Bethany at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
Mount Ida at Springfield
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Hartwick at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
WPI at Norwich
Live Stats Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Minnesota-Morris
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at Methodist
Video Video
1:30 PM
Ohio Northern at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Capital
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Franklin at Anderson
Preview Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington and Jefferson
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at John Carroll
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
King's at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Geneva at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Muskingum
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Defiance
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Earlham at Manchester
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Bowdoin at Williams
Video
2:00 PM
Muhlenberg at McDaniel
Preview Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at TCNJ
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Marietta at Otterbein
Audio
2:00 PM
Hope at Lakeland
Audio
2:00 PM
Olivet at Aurora
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Trine at Rockford
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Albion at Concordia (Wis.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
North Park at Washington U.
Preview Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Wisconsin Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Eau Claire at Wheaton (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Bethel
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Carleton
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Hamline at Gustavus Adolphus
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Stetson at Birmingham-Southern
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Sul Ross State
Audio
2:00 PM
Occidental at Austin
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Central
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Luther
Video
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at Coe
Audio
2:00 PM
Eureka at Greenville
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Loras at Augustana
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Louisiana College
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Simpson
Live Stats Video
2:30 PM
Rose-Hulman at Hanover
Live Stats Video
3:00 PM
Plymouth State at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
3:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Wayland Baptist
Live Stats Video Audio
3:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whittier
Live Stats Video
3:00 PM
Willamette at Cal Lutheran
Live Stats
3:30 PM
Alma at Concordia-Chicago
Live Stats Video
3:30 PM
Carroll at Lake Forest
Live Stats Video
3:30 PM
Whitworth at La Verne
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Westfield State at Mass-Dartmouth
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
Crown at St. Scholastica
Live Stats Live Stats Video
6:00 PM
DePauw at Wittenberg
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
6:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Brockport State
Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
UW-River Falls at South Dakota Mines
7:00 PM
Guilford at Southern Virginia
@ Salem Stadium
Live Stats Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Wooster at Oberlin
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Ferrum at Shenandoah
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Centre at Washington and Lee
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Kenyon at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Wilkes at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Pacific at Dubuque
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Platteville at North Central (Ill.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Chicago at Elmhurst
Preview Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at South Dakota State
Live Stats Video Audio
7:30 PM
Adrian at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
UW-Stout at Wartburg
Audio
8:00 PM
Martin Luther at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Southwestern at East Texas Baptist
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Pomona-Pitzer
Preview Live Stats Video
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Live Stats Video Audio
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Brockport State
Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
DePauw at Wittenberg
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
UW-Stout at Wartburg
Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at South Dakota State
Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
UW-Platteville at North Central (Ill.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at UW-La Crosse
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at TCNJ
Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Muskingum
Preview Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at John Carroll
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
King's at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Coast Guard at Hampden-Sydney
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Wabash at Denison
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Thiel
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Hartwick at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hobart at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Moravian at Johns Hopkins
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Bethel
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Eau Claire at Wheaton (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio Tickets
2:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Simpson
Live Stats Video

What We're Reading