North Central Football vs Millikin 10.15.22

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The North Central football team began the second half of their regular season at home against Millikin, looking to take the lead in the all-time series with what would be a seventeenth consecutive victory over the Big Blue. It was a perfect fall afternoon in Naperville and the Cardinals were hoping to entertain their fans with an equally high-quality performance.

It certainly started strong, with Ethan Greenfield running for 64 yards on the game’s opening play. A sign of things to come on what would be a record-setting day. Terrence Hill picked things up from there 16 yards for a touchdown, and the Cardinals led after just two snaps. The defense made an equally strong start, Dan Lester taking down Millikin QB Aidan Lombardo for a sack on the next series.

The second North Central possession ended the same way as the first: a Terrence Hill touchdown run. Hill had 66 yards on 8 carries and the two scores. Meanwhile, Greenfield stepped back into the spotlight on the next drive, shedding and breaking tackles to once again put the Cardinals in the Red Zone. From there, Luke Lehnen found Jacob Paradee for the touchdown, Paradee’s second straight week with a score.

Next drive and again in striking distance, Lehnen drops back and is flushed out of the pocket, but keeping his eyes downfield he uses a pump fake to create running room, and with a little help from a Rory Hills block he was into the end zone to make it 27-0 Cardinals. No change for the Millikin offense, and this time it’s Angelo Cusumano slinging Lombardo to the turf. Then it’s another big run for Greenfield, this one 28 yards for the touchdown. 174 yards on 15 carries and this score on the day for the program’s all-time rushing leader.

Still in the first half and Lehnen finds Paradee for another touchdown, the sophomore wideout continuing to be the number one target of the day for the Cardinals passing attack. The defense ended the first half with authority; three sacks in a four-play span to close it out, one from Dan Gilroy and two from Dan Lester. The Cardinals had 6 as a team in the game.

Second half, and Lehnen finds Paradee again for their third touchdown connection of the day. Six catches for 95 yards and three scores a career-day for Paradee. But the passing game wasn’t the story of this game, as the Cardinals rushed for a program record 591 yards on their way to a record of 776 total yards of offense. Joe Sacco running this one in to stretch the lead to 55. And much like last week, the defense sealed the shutout with an interception, this one by Jahron Williams. All Cardinals all the time in this one, 65-0 the final score.