October 5, 2013

North Central Rides Storm Out, Beats Elmhurst

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

A sloppy first half for the North Central College football team was washed away on Saturday, as the Cardinals used a lengthy weather delay to its advantage and came out firing on all cylinders in the second half to defeat Elmhurst College, 31-14, at Langhorst Field.

Fourth-ranked North Central (4-0, 1-0 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) entered the halftime break deadlocked in a 14-14 tie after committing nine penalties and two turnovers. Immediately after the second-half kickoff, the stadium was cleared due to heavy rain and lightning, and more than 90 minutes elapsed before the teams were permitted to return to the field.

The Cardinals seized control of the contest soon thereafter, scoring two touchdowns in a span of less than two minutes and limiting Elmhurst to just 44 total yards and one first down the rest of the way. The victory is North Central's 15th straight over the Bluejays, including all 12 encounters under the tutelage of head coach John Thorne.

After punting away the game's first possession, the Cardinals stuffed a fourth-down conversion attempt near midfield. Elmhurst, however, got the ball back one play later, as Spencer Stanek's pass was tipped before falling into the hands of Bluejay linebacker George DeMaria. The hosts were able to set up a 30-yard field goal attempt, but the kick sailed wide.

Taking over at its own 20, North Central embarked on its first scoring drive of the day. Stanek completed five straight passes, including three to Ryne Rezac, before calling his own number on a seven-yard option run for the game's first touchdown. Elmhurst countered with an 80-yard drive of its own in the second period, highlighted by a 41-yard run by tailback Josh Williams. Backed up to its own one-yard line, the Cardinal defense held its ground until fourth down, when Williams extended a play to the left sideline and eluded the North Central pressure for a two-yard TD run. 

The Bluejays (1-4, 0-1) followed by attempting an onside kick, but were flagged for touching the ball before it had traveled 10 yards. North Central wound up taking possession at the Elmhurst 44, and Stanek got the Cardinals back into the end zone after three passes. He found Chad O'Kane in the end zone near the left sideline with 3:34 on the clock, restoring the visitors' lead to 14-7.

North Central made one last attempt to score before halftime, driving just past midfield before a costly error. An errant snap from center was tipped into the air, then snagged by Bluejay safety Stephen Ritter, who raced 47 yards to the end zone to tie the score with just 12 seconds on the clock.

Right after the Cardinals' second-half kickoff to Elmhurst, the skies opened up and the stadium was evacuated. After resuming play, North Central promptly forced a punt and began the 14-play, 68-yard drive which would give it the lead for good.Oshayne Brown kept the drive alive with a three-yard run on fourth down, then later rambled 12 yards to leave the Cardinals just a yard from the goal line. Stanek was sacked for a six-yard loss on the next play, but two plays later lofted a seven-yard TD pass to Peter Sorenson.

Cardinal safety Shane Dierking stepped up on the next series and intercepted a third-down pass, returning it 29 yards to the Elmhurst 16. Stanek fired his third scoring pass on the next play, a 16-yard strike to Rezac, and gave North Central a 28-14 cushion with 6:24 left in the third quarter.

Dierking set up the final score of the day with his second interception, which he returned 21 yards to the Elmhurst 26. Five plays later, kicker Nick Dace came on to convert a 25-yard field goal attempt, making him the first in North Central history to connect on 40 career field goals. Dierking, meanwhile, now has 12 career interceptions, tying him with Timm Bellazzini '07 and Tyler Venier '09 for third all-time.

The Cardinals wound up totaling 412 yards of offense, while the defense established a season best by limiting Elmhurst to 205. The Bluejays' 27 passing yards are the fifth-fewest recorded by a North Central opponent. 

Stanek completed 16 of 27 passes for 201 yards, throwing seven times to Sorenson for 106. Sorenson now has 34 receptions after four games, more than he had all of last season. Ryan Kent ran for a game-high 98 yards on 14 carries, while Brown gained a career-high 76 yards on 13 rushes.

Nick Slezak led North Central in tackles for the fourth straight game (12), also recording three tackles for loss, while Nick Samuelson made seven stops and Dierking and Brian Wilson each had six.

Williams and quarterback Logan Stelzriede shared Elmhurst's rushing lead with 72 yards each. Charlie Roberts led the Bluejay defense with 13 tackles, three tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks.

The Cardinals return home Saturday, hosting Millikin University (1-4, 0-1) at 6 p.m. The Big Blue opened CCIW play with a 35-21 loss to Illinois Wesleyan University.

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