Jeff Thorne on next man up mentality displayed during his team’s win over Elmhurst and history against Illinois Wesleyan.
The North Central football team won easily against Elmhurst with a 70-point margin with the help of some less usual stars. Junior running back Ethan Greenfield was held out of the game as a precaution, while senior wide receiver Andrew Kamienski left the game in the second quarter (but not before another highlight-reel touchdown). Terrence Hill led the rushing attack with three total touchdowns, while Khori Blair led the receivers with 68 yards. The Cardinals have now had 8 different players rush for a touchdown as well as 8 different players catch a touchdown pass. Greenfield and Kamienski still had an impact, as the biggest cheerleaders for their teammates.
After a start to the game Thorne called “sloppy,” he said what got the team back on track was the Elmhurst fumbled snap on a punt that set them up inside the five-yard line. Luke Lehnen had an easy touchdown run, and from there the team relaxed and went to work.
Speaking of quarterbacks running for touchdowns, the longest of the night was notched by backup Jake Johnson on a 63-yard score. Johnson is the eldest quarterback on the team, and Thorne said he has done a great job helping Lehnen get used to life as a college quarterback and supports him in the same way he previously supported Broc Rutter.
As for this week’s opponent, Thorne said the team’s rivalry with Illinois Wesleyan has mirrored the rise of the program. The Titans still lead the all-time series, but the Cardinals have won ten straight and 16 of 17 in the series. A win would make the Cardinals above .500 vs Illinois Wesleyan all-time at home. The Cardinals face the Titans at 6 PM from Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium on Saturday night on NCTV17 and northcentralcardinals.com