North Central College vs. Wabash highlights from the first round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs. The Cardinals beat the Little Giants 51-15.
Ethan Greenfield just about 40 yards shy of the single season all-purpose record as North Central enters the first round matchup with Wabash in the NCAA Division three playoffs. That guy, Broc Rutter has virtually every record in the book. Little Giants traveling from Crawfordsville, Indiana – Wabash beating NCC in the 2011 post-season.
Cardinals starting with the ball – and on the first play from scrimmage, Greenfield gets the carry. The sophomore back has been explosive all season long, and he shows off the jets here with a 31 yard burst, setting NCC up at the Wabash 45.
Very next play, the other dynamic offensive star, Andrew Kamienski, gets in on the fun. Makes the snag on the crossing route – and finishes with an 18 yard gain.
Now second and goal from the 4… so many options to choose from, but it’s Greenfield with the plunge. Ball crosses the goal line and North Central on the board first – 7-0 lead with 12:33 to go in the opening quarter.
Wabash combatting the score with a drive of their own. Freshman quarterback Liam Thompson rolling out right – hits his receiver, Cooper Sullivan, in stride. Pick up of 28 and a first down.
But here comes the Cardinal defense… PXP
Now 4th and 19… and Wabash is going for it! Thompson steps up in the pocket and delivers a beautiful ball to the endzone – where he finds Nick Hamman for the score. Little Giants go for two, but denied. 7-6 six and a half minutes in.
Then… the Cardinals turn Greenfield loose again… PXP
And to cap the drive, surprise surprise… hand off to number 8 – and he punches it into the endzone for another 6. He already has over 100 yards and two touchdowns not even ten minutes in.
Wabash in need of a response, already down 14-6… and that doesn’t appear to be good news but… well, didn’t see that coming! Thompson squeezes out of a scrum and he’s running wild! It may go down as a 28 yard run… but he might have traveled 50 or 60 yards on the run. Wabash gets a field goal out of it.
Back on the offensive end for North Central and… with all the focus on Greenfield in the early going, the Little Giants lose track of Kamienski – 26 yard catch and the Cardinals just outside the red zone.
Then, following a 20 yard run from Greenfield… PXP
Cardinals starting to separate, up 21-9.
But here come the Little Giants again. To open up the second quarter Isaac Avant dancing around in the backfield… and he’ll avoid traffic and take the back roads. Big 39 yard run.
With a chance to score, sitting at the North Central 14, Thompson scans but doesn’t see Talha Ayhan coming around the edge for a second time in the game. Huge sack results in yet another field goal.
Next drive for NCC… PXP
Unreal day… and it’s still not over.
Next possession for the Little Giants… and they’re stuck going for a field goal… or are they?
How about that? But let’s now skip all the way to the end of the third quarter – teams swapping field goals. And then Rutter finds Kamienski – which putts NCC within striking distance.
All the records fall – rushing yards in a game (301) rushing yards in a season, all purpose yards in a season, touchdowns in a season… wow.
As for Bryan Beauchamp and the defense – somehow getting better and better as the day goes along. As the captain comes through with a big hit early in the fourth.
Back on the offensive end and… you know who’s been kinda quiet?… PXP
Desperation time for Wabash – and Thompson, who showed a lot of poise in his first playoff game, gets picked off by Jake Beesley – the cornerback’s third of the season.
And to close out the scoring?
Cardinals roll to a win – 51-15 the final. NCC avenges the 2011 playoff loss and will look to do the same next week against Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. The Purple Raiders beating the Cardinals 41-40 in the semi-finals in 2013.