November 2, 2013

North Central Pulls Away from IWU, Remains Unbeaten

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

Taking part in its biggest game of 2013 thus far, the North Central College football team rose to the occasion when the lights were brightest on Saturday, breaking open a close game with an authoritative fourth-quarter surge and posting a 46-17 victory over College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) rival Illinois Wesleyan University at Tucci Stadium.


The fourth-ranked Cardinals (8-0, 5-0 CCIW) were pitted against a nationally-ranked opponent for the first time this season, as IWU came into the game ranked 12th by the American Football Coaches Association and 13th by D3football.com. North Central led nearly the whole afternoon and scored the final 24 points, including three touchdowns in a six-minute stretch of the fourth period.

The Cardinals' offense took the field first and marched 85 yards in 13 plays to open the scoring. Spencer Stanek completed 6 of 7 passes on the drive, including a 23-yard toss to Peter Sorenson which left the visitors just one yard from the end zone. Zack Pattat ran for the score on the next play, spotting North Central an early 7-0 lead. The Titans (7-1, 4-1) answered with a touchdown on their first drive as well, as quarterback Rob Gallik completed three straight passes for 57 yards before handing off to tailback Devonte Jones for a four-yard TD run with 7:47 on the first-quarter clock.

Stanek responded by engineering another 85-yard touchdown drive, lasting 16 plays, completing 7 of 8 passes along the way. His five-yard TD completion to Sorenson with just nine seconds left in the opening period put North Central ahead once again, 14-7.

The Cardinals recovered their own onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but a holding penalty derailed their next drive and the punt team came on for the first time. Kevin Looff's kick pinned IWU on its own six-yard line, and the Cardinals came with defensive pressure on the next play to harass Gallik into a penalty for intentional grounding. As the penalty occurred in the end zone, North Central was awarded a safety to boost its lead to 16-7. The Cardinals' next drive resulted in a 26-yard field goal by Nick Dace, giving the guests a 19-7 edge with 10:27 left in the first half.

After the Cardinals' defense stuffed a fourth-down conversion attempt at the North Central 32-yard line, IWU got another chance after recovering a fumble on the following play. Passes by Gallik accounted for all four drives on the next play, including a 10-yard TD pass to Tate Musselman, as the Titans narrowed the gap to 19-14 with 1:39 before halftime. Stanek turned out to have just enough time to get the Cardinals down the field for another score, completing 5 of 6 passes for 50 yards and setting up a 36-yard field goal from Dace as the horn sounded.

The teams traded field goals to start the third quarter, as a 26-yarder by IWU's Michael Kelley was countered by a 32-yarder from Dace. North Central opened its game-winning stretch drive after taking over near midfield following a Titan punt with 9:35 to play. Ryan Kent broke loose for a 36-yard run to get the Cardinals to the one-yard line, and two plays later, Stanek found Sorenson for a four-yard scoring strike to extend the lead to 32-17.

The Cardinals' defense began the process of slamming the door when Trey Hartema intercepted a pass on the following IWU possession and returned it 34 yards to the Titans' 19. Four plays later, Stanek threw an eight-yard TD pass toRyan Szudarski for a 39-17 advantage with 3:44 left. 

Two plays into the hosts' next drive, Shane Dierking stepped in front of another pass to record his team-leading sixth interception of the season at the Cardinals' 48-yard line. Kent came up big once again, taking off for a 45-yard run, before scoring on a one-yard plunge with under a minute to play.

North Central owned a 527-283 advantage in total yards, limiting the Titans to 36 rushing yards. Stanek completed 32 of 45 passes for 337 yards, finishing just one completion short of the Cardinals' single-game record. Kent ran 20 times for a season-high 143 yards, while Chad O'Kane caught eight passes for 104 yards and Sorenson gained 77 yards on seven catches. Dierking, who is now just one interception short of the Cardinals' career record of 15, led North Central with 11 tackles, while Adam Szudarski totaled three tackles for loss.

Gallik completed 26 of 43 passes for 247 yards for the Titans, throwing seven times to Alex Garvey for 70 yards. Connor Klein made 12 tackles and Chris Simms made 11 stops for IWU.

North Central has now beaten the Titans in 10 of the last 11 meetings, including the last four in a row by an aggregate score of 152-24.

The Cardinals travel to face 19th-ranked Wheaton College (7-1, 4-1) on Saturday at McCully Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. 

Sep. 30: All times Eastern
Final
Randolph-Macon 24, at Shenandoah 19
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Final
at Washington and Lee 49, Emory and Henry 23
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Oct. 1: All times Eastern
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Massachusetts Maritime 30, at Fitchburg State 0
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Becker 42, at Gallaudet 18
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RPI 51, at Rochester 13
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Endicott 21, at MIT 9
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at William Paterson 18, Montclair State 13
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at Wesleyan 34, Hamilton 6
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Wabash 45, at Hiram 21
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Middlebury 35, at Colby 14
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Amherst 31, at Bowdoin 10
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Frostburg State 25, at Kean 18
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at DePauw 48, Kenyon 35
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Ferrum 30, at Greensboro 0
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1:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Methodist
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28 Wilkes
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at Castleton 23, Anna Maria 13
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at St. Lawrence 42, Springfield 14
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Thomas More 45, at Westminster (Pa.) 35
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Alma 56, at Kalamazoo 26
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Wesley 63, at Southern Virginia 9
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Adrian 28, at Albion 21
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Husson 33, at SUNY-Maritime 12
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Apprentice 24, at Alfred State 8
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at Salisbury 41, TCNJ 6
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at St. John Fisher 28, Buffalo State 24
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Salve Regina 47, at Curry 14
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at Gettysburg 38, McDaniel 23
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Delaware Valley 48, at Lebanon Valley 0
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at Denison 21, Ohio Wesleyan 14
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at Ithaca 23, Utica 14
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Alfred 49, at Morrisville State 24
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Western New England 56, at Nichols 27
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1:30 PM
Oberlin at Allegheny
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Mount Ida 15, at Norwich 14
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Trinity (Conn.) 38, at Williams 13
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4th - 9:21
56 Baldwin Wallace
56 Marietta
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at Heidelberg 27, Muskingum 24
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at WPI 21, Union 14
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30 Maine Maritime
36 Coast Guard
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John Carroll 67, at Wilmington 7
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Mount Union 38, at Ohio Northern 21
4th - 04:57
41 Franklin
20 Manchester
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1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Hanover
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1:30 PM
Widener at Lycoming
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52 Defiance
20 Earlham
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13 Concordia-Chicago
20 Trine
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3rd (14:00)
20 Capital
21 Otterbein
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2:00 3rd Qtr.
7 Plymouth State
0 Westfield State
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3rd - 05:54
41 Wittenberg
7 Wooster
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3rd - 02:18
10 Anderson
35 Rose-Hulman
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20 Hampden-Sydney
45 Bridgewater
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2:00 PM
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Cortland at Hartwick
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2:00 PM
Centre at Hendrix
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27 Eureka
6 Greenville
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Halftime
7 Northwestern (Minn.)
5 Iowa Wesleyan
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3rd Qtr - 1:26 left
7 Concordia (Wis.)
16 Lakeland
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3rd - 02:31
15 Rockford
44 Benedictine
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34 Aurora
7 Wisconsin Lutheran
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17 Nebraska Wesleyan
17 Luther
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33 Rhodes
14 Sewanee
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11:45 - 3rd
14 Lake Forest
28 St. Norbert
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2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Gustavus Adolphus
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4th - 11:08
28 Hamline
23 Carleton
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9:40 - 4th Qtr.
35 St. John's
13 Bethel
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3rd - 10:48
17 UW-Whitewater
14 UW-Platteville
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4th - 10:02
34 Buena Vista
17 Loras
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3rd - 01:56
29 Sul Ross State
39 Hardin-Simmons
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2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-Eau Claire
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2:00 PM
Beloit at Lawrence
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2:00 PM
Cornell at Monmouth
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HALF
10 Wartburg
17 Coe
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half
28 Dubuque
17 Central
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HALF
17 Wheaton (Ill.)
24 Illinois Wesleyan
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HALF
3 McMurry
24 Mary Hardin-Baylor
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2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Augustana
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2:00 PM
Macalester at Ripon
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2:00 PM
Grinnell at Illinois College
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HALF
7 Howard Payne
14 Louisiana College
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2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at UW-La Crosse
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HALF
32 East Texas Baptist
17 Belhaven
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3rd - 05:34
7 Augsburg
41 St. Thomas
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3:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at Thiel
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3:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Morthland
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3:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Martin Luther
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3:00 PM
Carthage at Carroll
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0 UW-Stout
17 UW-Oshkosh
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1st - 11:54
0 Willamette
6 Puget Sound
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4:00 PM
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10:00 PM
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10:00 PM
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Occidental at Redlands
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Oct. 1: All times Eastern
Final
at Hobart 38, Merchant Marine 35
Box Score
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Juniata 17
Box Score
Final
at Salisbury 41, TCNJ 6
Box Score
Final
Thomas More 45, at Westminster (Pa.) 35
Final
Wabash 45, at Hiram 21
Box Score
Final
at St. John Fisher 28, Buffalo State 24
Final
Stevenson 48, at Misericordia 0
Final
at St. Lawrence 42, Springfield 14
Box Score
Final
at N.C. Wesleyan 41, Huntingdon 31
Box Score
Final
Mount Union 38, at Ohio Northern 21
4th - 04:57
41 Franklin
20 Manchester
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3rd - 05:54
41 Wittenberg
7 Wooster
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HALF
17 Wheaton (Ill.)
24 Illinois Wesleyan
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3rd - 10:48
17 UW-Whitewater
14 UW-Platteville
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9:40 - 4th Qtr.
35 St. John's
13 Bethel
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HALF
3 McMurry
24 Mary Hardin-Baylor
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3rd - 01:56
29 Sul Ross State
39 Hardin-Simmons
Video Live Stats
HALF
32 East Texas Baptist
17 Belhaven
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half
28 Dubuque
17 Central
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3rd - 05:34
7 Augsburg
41 St. Thomas
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End of 1st Qtr.
0 UW-Stout
17 UW-Oshkosh
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4:30 PM
Lewis and Clark at Linfield
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6:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Rowan
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