Jake Beesley and Jarod Thornton

Jake Beesley and Jarod Thornton discuss North Central football’s win over Augustana, Jake’s field goal block, an defending a national title.

Our conversation had to begin with the field goal, on which Sidney Maroon’s kick was knocked out of the air with two hands by the fifth-year senior cornerback. Beesley said it’s something he’ worked on in practice and that he knew Maroon’s kicks were generally low which allowed him to make the play.

Taking a step back, Thornton reflected on the difference between his freshman and sophomore years. He said now he’s trying to be the sort of leader for freshmen Jeske Maples and Sam Pryor that older lineman like Sharmore Clark were for him in 2019, when he started every game.

Thornton added that he feels very proud of the O-Line’s work so far this season and that he’s been impressed by Maples and Pryor’s early work.

As for his goals in his final year, Beesley said his two primary goals entering the season were to beat Wheaton and win another national championship. With the first box checked, he’s fully focused on the second goal for which the team is off to a great start.

As for his section of the team, he feels the experience the secondary has not only in years but in having played together helps them to be cohesive as a unit and perform better than they ever have before.

Both Beesley and Thornton say they enjoy seeing “everybody eat,” as Thornton put it, in games like this where the Cardinals build a big lead and make lots of substitutions. They know many of these players will eventually take their place, and they also have the confidence that if they were to miss any time due to injury there is no shortage of talent below them on the depth chart.

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