/seasons/2013/contrib/20131102c0lat2

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. 

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Moravian at King's
Live stats Tickets
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
Live stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
Live stats
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
Video Live stats
7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Video Live stats
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live stats
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
Live stats
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
Live stats
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Video Live stats Live stats
12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
1:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Oberlin
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Heidelberg at Olivet
Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Husson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live stats
1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
Live stats
1:00 PM
Greensboro at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
Live stats
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
2:00 PM
Carthage at Aurora
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
Video
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
Video
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
5:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live stats Audio
6:00 PM
North Park at Anderson
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
Live stats
7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live stats
7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
7:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
Live stats
Maintenance in progress.