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