Two sets of brothers accounted for four of Central's six touchdowns. Tight end Jack Norgaard (junior, Naperville, Ill., Neuqua Valley HS) caught a 17-yard TD pass in the first quarter while linebacker Sam Norgaard (freshman, Naperville, Ill., Neuqua Valley HS) recovered a fumbled punt attempt and took it 15 yards for Central's only score of the fourth quarter. Meanwhile wide receiver Mitchell Boerm (freshman, Traer, North Tama HS) caught his first collegiate TD pass, a 9-yarder in the first quarter from his brother, Brendon Boerm (sophomore, Traer, North Tama HS), a wide receiver who also serves as a back-up quarterback. Then Brendon Boerm scored one of his own on a 2-yard third-quarter run.
Central (5-3 overall, 3-2 Iowa Conference) soared to a 21-0 first quarter lead with the defense again providing some spark. A fumble recovery by linebacker Mike Young (senior, Country Club Hills, Ill., Hillcrest HS) following a sack on the opening Loras possession set up the game's first score, a 35-yard Aaron Eiseler (junior, Newberg, Ore., Red Mountain, Ariz. HS) toss to running back Josh Osborn (junior, Burlington) at the 11:44 mark.
Three plays later, defensive back Jacob Tune (junior, Mesa, Ariz., Red Mountain HS) intercepted a pass at the Loras 30, setting up Eiseler's 17-yard TD pass to Jack Norgaard. Following a punt, a 55-yard drive was completed with the Boerm-to-Boerm TD strike.
"We got a fast start on both offense and defense," coach Jeff McMartin said. "That's important. Our special teams also played well. We got contributions in all phases of the game."
Kevin Sheldon (junior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) booted second-quarter field goals of 33 and 38 yards and Central needed just 15 seconds to stretch the advantage to 34-0 in the third quarter. Taylor Cox (sophomore, Pella) returned the kickoff 43 yards and a 15-yard personal foul penalty was tacked on. Osborn raced 35 yards to the end zone on the next play.
Loras (1-7 overall, 0-5 conference) was playing less than 24 hours after the resignation of third-year coach Paul Mierkiewicz. Offensive line coach Steve Helminiak took over as interim head coach. The Duhawks ruined the shutout with a 37-yard Louie Oswald field goal late in the third quarter.
Central's league-leading rush defense enhanced its resume by limiting Loras to 90 yards on the ground. The Duhawks mustered just 74 yards passing, completing eight of 17 attempts. Central gained 220 yards on the ground and 128 through the air to hold a 348-164 yard advantage in total offense.
Running back De'Andre Currie (junior, Phoenix, Ariz., Mountain Pointe HS) gained 71 yards on 15 carries while Osborn needed just six carries to gain 67 yards. Eiseler completed six of 14 passes for 114 yards with one interception and two touchdowns. The Dutch were eight- of-18 passing overall.
Central upped its season average in tackles for loss to 11.7, recording 14, including five sacks. Linebacker Keith Rush (senior, Griswold) had 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss among his team-high six stops while linebacker Mitch Schroeder (junior, Lowden, North Cedar HS) had 3.0 tackles for loss and a sack.
"Our defensive line and linebackers fit really well together," McMartin said. "They continue to make life tough on the offense."
After four straight tight conference contests, McMartin got a chance to give playing time to the backups Saturday.
"All the guys who played, played well," he said. "We're really happy with the win. It gives us some momentum going into next week."
And next week sends Central back on the road, tackling league co-leader Wartburg College at Waverly Saturday. The Knights are 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference after getting outscored at home by defending champion Coe College Saturday, 24-10.