North Central Football Heads North
A second Saturday on the road to start the season for North Central football: last week in Indiana, this week in Wisconsin, looking for a similar result as they faced off with the Carthage College Firebirds in search of their seventeenth straight win over the Kenosha natives in the first CCIW matchup of the season.
A First Quarter Stalemate
The Cardinals first defensive series was all about junior safety Julian Bell: a good tackle at the line, an aggressive pass break-up, and a great open-field tackle, all culminating in an interception inside the North Central five-yard line to keep the score at 0-0 early. That helped motivate the Cardinals offense to get up and running, as quarterback Luke Lehnen breaks off a 53-yard run, though he’d prove to have plenty more in the tank. Later in the drive Terrence Hill rumbles into the end zone for his first touchdown of the year, 7-0 North Central
But Carthage had an immediate answer: a long touchdown pass from Christian Beltran to Alex Jarvis, and the first quarter would end tied 7-7, raising the possibility this game would be more competitive than expected.
Second Quarter Speed Display
The Cardinals offense came right back: a blown coverage by the Carthage defense leaves sophomore wide receiver Peter Braithewaite wide open, and Lehnen finds him for the 65-yard score to restore a 7-point Cardinals lead.
The next North Central drive ended in a fumble, but the defense takes the ball right back as BJ Adamchik jumps on the Carthage fumble to set up great field position. Lehnen looks long on the very next play and DeAngelo Hardy comes up just short of the end zone. Ethan Greenfield then happily does the rest, punching in his fourth touchdown of the year in less than a game and a half, 21-7 now.
I mentioned Lehen had more left in the tank and here’s where he shows off the wheels: 55-yards on the run to the house. Lehnen led the Cardinals with 107 yards rushing. This run had the Cardinals leading 28-7
The Cardinals defense racked up six sacks in the game. Here’s the first by Tyler Rich, who had three of them.
Tanner Rains adds a 37-yard field goal on the next drive, his first 3 points of the season.
It wouldn’t be a true North Central game without multiple Ethan Greenfield rushing touchdowns. His second of the day makes it 38-7 on the only points scored in the third quarter.
Dan Lester had two of those aforementioned six sacks. Here he is totally swallowing up beltran in the backfield.
Maybe the most impressive run of the day wasn’t a touchdown or by Luke Lehnen, but this crazy run by Jordan Chisum. Just running over Firebird defenders and finding daylight, but falling just short of the end zone. Backup QB Jake Johnson would take care of that. He fakes out the entire defense and waltzes into the end zone for 52-7
Sophomore Nic Laird would get the final sack of the day as the second-team defense continued to apply the pressure. And then freshman running back Kyle Franklin notches his first career touchdown late to bring the point total to 59. Even even when Carthage went searching for consolation it wasn’t to be. A fumble in the final moments just short of the goal line is recovered by North Central freshman Jake Brock and the cardinals roll to 1-0 in conference play.