/seasons/2013/contrib/20130914pzndkf

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.

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 Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Amherst 21, Wesleyan 17
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 Box Score
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 Recap
Final
at Wesley 34, Rowan 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Stevenson 26, Albright 23
Video 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 Recap 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 Box Score
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 Box Score Recap
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 Photos
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 Recap
Final
at Trine 50, Hope 14
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Trinity (Texas) 27, at Sewanee 21
Video Box Score
Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 56, Dickinson 0
Video Video Box Score
Final
Tufts 21, at Williams 13
Video Box Score Photos
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 Recap
Final
Franklin 29, at Rose-Hulman 22
Video Video Box Score Photos
Final
John Carroll 48, at Capital 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Manchester 28, Bluffton 21
Video Box Score Recap
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 Box Score
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 Recap
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 Box Score Photos
Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
Video Box Score Live stats Audio Audio
Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Benedictine 43, Olivet 37
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Birmingham-Southern 31, at Austin 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Belhaven 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Stout 23, UW-Stevens Point 17
Recap Video Box Score
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 Recap
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
Video Box Score Photos
Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Westminster (Mo.) 24, at Greenville 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Loras 44, Coe 38
Video Box Score
Final
Monmouth 61, at Cornell 10
Video
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 56, at North Park 0
Box Score Recap
Final
Northwestern (Minn.) 30, at Martin Luther 14
Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 33, at Texas Lutheran 30
Box Score Photos
Final
at Lake Forest 70, Grinnell 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Millikin 56, Carroll 35
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Macalester 47, Ripon 31
Video Box Score
Final
at St. Norbert 38, Lawrence 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
St. Scholastica 49, at Crown 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Iowa Wesleyan 24, Minnesota-Morris 17
Box Score
Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at WPI 41, Merchant Marine 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Centre 42, Rhodes 35
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Hanover 49, at Earlham 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Chicago 55, Beloit 12
Box Score Photos
Final
UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Dubuque 28, Simpson 27
Video Box Score Live stats Audio
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at East Texas Baptist 68, Louisiana College 35
Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 45, Hartwick 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Western Connecticut 27, at Bridgewater State 20
Box Score
Final
Chapman 38, at La Verne 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Pacific 17, at Lewis and Clark 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Pacific Lutheran 27, at Willamette 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Whitworth 38, Puget Sound 23
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Redlands 42, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 25
Video Box Score
Final
at Linfield 12, George Fox 6
Video Box Score
Final
Sul Ross State 52, at Howard Payne 15
Video
Final
at Castleton 17, Dean 14
Video Box Score
Final
N.C. Wesleyan 21, at Averett 15
Video Box Score
Final
at Otterbein 37, Baldwin Wallace 29
Box Score
Final
Case Western Reserve 45, at Geneva 7
Video Box Score
Final
Carnegie Mellon 42, at Thiel 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois College 23, Knox 13
Video Box Score
Final
at Cal Lutheran 60, Whittier 34
Video Box Score
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 Recap
Final
at Frostburg State 62, Montclair State 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wittenberg 52, at DePauw 6
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Springfield 68, Catholic 20
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wartburg 41, at Luther 16
Box Score Video
Final
Mount Union 66, at Wilmington 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Marietta 44, Heidelberg 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Washington and Jefferson 34, Westminster (Pa.) 33
Video Box Score 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 Recap
Final
St. Thomas 84, at Hamline 0
Video Box Score Recap
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
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Berry 37, at Millsaps 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Platteville 34, at UW-Eau Claire 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
UW-Oshkosh 42, at UW-La Crosse 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 54, Augustana 2
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 45, Hartwick 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Linfield 12, George Fox 6
Video Box Score
Final
Case Western Reserve 45, at Geneva 7
Video Box Score