Broc Rutter, fresh off setting the North Central record for passing touchdowns in a career, has a few more records within reach.
Braden Lindmark and the defense looking to stop 24th-ranked Wash U on the road.
Jeff Thorne welcoming the big lineman onto the field pre-game
As they get ready to square off against Bears quarterback Johnny Davidson
Opening drive, North Central has already picked up a first down… and they’re already marching into Bears territory thanks to this long dart from Rutter to Andrew Kamienski.
Subsequent play, it’s sophomore running back Ethan Greenfield getting the carry – he makes a man miss, runs through another and drags a third to the 10 yard line. Cardinals score on a 10 yard pass to fellow running back Terrence Hill.
First offensive series for Wash U… and the Cardinals having none of it. New safety Tim Mayerhofer there to force a three and out.
North Central back with the rock and it’s Rutter looking back to Kamienski.. and the junior receiver takes a big hit, but stays up right – stretching for the first down
Capping the drive, Rutter doesn’t like what he sees to his left… so he progresses right… and patiently waits to find freshman DeAngelo Hardy in the corner of the endzone. His first collegiate score.
Okay, the second drive for the Bears finding a little more success. Davidson moving the sticks with the arm… and here he is doing it with the feet.
Third and goal from the one yard line… and Davidson calling his own number. Quarterback keeper to the left… and he skirts in for the touchdown. 13-7 North Central leads.
So, we’ve seen Broc Rutter do some pretty incredible things the last four years, but this throw might take the cake for me. How he’s able to place this perfectly on the sideline… beyond me. 40 yard hookup with Blake Williams.
Drive stalls though, kicking unit on… and that doesn’t work too well. Wash U blocks the attempt… and they’re taking it to the house. 71 yard return for Andrew Whitaker… they miss the P-A-T and we’re tied up at 13.
Next drive for the Cardinals, Hill already with 29 yards rushing on this series… and how about 14 more for the sophomore back. Puts the Cards at the Wash U 11.
Wasting no time, Rutter motions the freshman Hardy behind him, and then hits number 6 in stride. Hardy takes it to the pilon… yet another touchdown – giving NCC a 20-13 edge.
Wash U needs an answer… but the only people pickin up the phone… Talha Ayhan and Cam Martin… the duo there for the sack.
Same drive but now it’s fourth down. The D-line again flushes the Bears QB. And Bryan Beauchamp comes flying in out of nowhere to provide the first hit – Martin finishes Davidson off. Turnover on downs.
In the grand scheme of things, this play doesn’t much matter, but after a Rutter interception, Davidson gets an unbelievable catch from Mitchell Groen – a senior receiver.
He’s looking his way again on the next play… but this time, Jake Beesley breaks it up.
Now under a minute to go in the first half and Rutter looking to his tried and true number 11. Corner route is golden… and that gives NCC a 27-13 lead going into the half.
Did I mention Davidson is also the punter? I mention that because… Dakota Cremeen came in like a wrecking ball! He blocks the punt and it winds up being a safety.
Taking advantage of the short field following the free kick… North Central gives to Hill and he busts through the line with ease… finishing in the endzone to give the Cardinals a 36-13 lead.
Even against the up-tempo and high powered Wash U offense, the Cardinals standing tall all day long. Mayerhofer leading the way with 9 tackles.
Oh, and Braden Lindmark also perfectly reads the Bears last good scoring look, picking off Davidson.
And to finish it all off… Rutter finds Kamienski for his fifth and final touchdown. Rutter now the career leader in completions and passing yards… as the Cardinals beat the Bears 46-13. Up next, North Park in the home opener.