/seasons/2013/contrib/20131006opam0z

North Park snaps long CCIW skid

More news about: North Park

This has been 12 years and 363 days in the making.

For the first time since the 2000 season (Oct. 7), North Park walked off the football field with a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin victory under their belt as they held off visiting Carthage College 22-20 before a capacity crowd at the Holmgren Athletic Complex Saturday afternoon into early evening.

First-year head coach Mike Conway had to fight back tears because of how much this meant not only to the seniors of the football team, but the countless number of student-athletes that came through the football program before them that didn't win a single CCIW contest.

"I'm a little overwhelmed because we play every game to win," Conway said. "Even though we lost our first three games there were little things along the way that taught us how to win and that culminated here today. I can't say enough about our team in general, but especially our defense did an amazing job. Those guys fought so hard and fought through injuries. But this was something we set out to do, and we're definitely not finished yet."

The magnitude of Saturday's victory sent waves throughout the North Park community as well as the CCIW and on a national level that NPU Football will soon be a program to be reckoned with.

"We played with heart and desire at a level that may have never been played here before," Conway said. "Being a first year guy, I don't know that for sure but we put together a complete game and this has to be the best football played here in the last (12 years)."

North Park's defense was what truly won the game for the hosts as they held Carthage to under 300 yards of total offense and forced the Red Men to kick two field goals on a pair of scoring drives. The Vikings held a 10-0 lead through the first 20 minutes of the game after freshman quarterback T. D. Conway hooked up with his brother Dakota on a 17-yard touchdown pass, and later a Noah Moore 20-yard field goal with 10:02 remaining the half. The Vikings then pushed their advantage to a 16-3 margin after Conway fired a 12-yard touchdown pass to senior Tyler Krebswith 12:53 left in the third quarter, but a pair of Carthage touchdowns allowed the visitors to complete a near insurmountable comeback which gave them a 17-16 edge just before the contest was delayed by lightning and rain for an hour and 18 minutes.

Carthage picked up right where it left off after the delay as it pushed its lead up to 20-16 on a 26-yard field goal from Brett Burkari with 2:40 left in the third quarter, but T.D. made sure the Homecoming crowd wasn't going to be denied a victory as he led the Vikings down field 80 yards in eight plays and culminated the drive with a 20-yard scoring pass to senior John Barnabee. Carthage did get the ball back with 4:21 left in the contest, but senior linebacker Bennett Dettlinger came up with a crucial interception to thwart the Red Men's chances on their third play of the drive.

"I'm just so proud of our team, our coaches, our kids and I'm proud to be a Viking today," Mike Conway said. "Our 17 seniors could've picked up and quit after being beat down for their first three years with the team but none of them did. They didn't quit and we've given them everything we have to make this happen and we made it happen."

T.D. finished the day completing 27 of 48 passes for a whopping 302 yards. Dakota was on the receiving end of most of them as he had 12 catches for 97 yards. Sophomore Drew Walkington led the Vikings' ground game with 10 rushes for 60 yards.

"This is a historic and monumental day for this program and our players," Mike Conway said. "I'm so proud of all the guys on this team and all the guys that stayed with us, and this is something that's life-changing maybe, but they'll never forget this and we made it happen because of them."

Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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at Thomas More 59, Waynesburg 7
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at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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at Finlandia 27, Trinity Bible 21
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Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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at Olivet 47, Albion 26
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at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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at Plymouth State 16, Framingham State 13
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at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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at Lebanon Valley 31, Stevenson 24
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Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Randolph-Macon 52, Emory and Henry 29
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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at Hope 22, Adrian 3
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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La Verne at Occidental
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Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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at Cal Lutheran 42, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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at Pacific 35, Puget Sound 27
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Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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at Western Connecticut 28, Massachusetts Maritime 21
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at St. Scholastica 56, Martin Luther 21
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at St. John Fisher 39, Utica 36
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at Heidelberg 48, Otterbein 45
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at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
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Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
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at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
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