North Central football was coming off a huge road win over Wheaton last week, and the Cardinals returned to Naperville and Benedetti Whirly stadium on Saturday afternoon. In addition to a return home in was, in fact, Homecoming weekend on campus and the football team was looking to celebrate the weekend with a win over Augustana, bringing in a 14 game winning streak against the Vikings.
It was only the first drive of the game, but with a sign of how the game would play out freshman quarterback Luke Lehnen lofted this pass for Ethan Greenfield out of the backfield, and with a Viking defender falling down Greenfield did the rest. A 48-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-0.
On the next Cardinals drive, Ethan Greenfield reminding everyone that he’s a pretty good runner too…taking this handoff around the right side and bursting by would-be tacklers for a 35 yard gain all the way down to the Augustana 20 yard line
A few plays later on 4th down the Cardinals elect to go for it and Lehnen throws a dart to senior wide-out Andrew Kamienski who makes a nice grab. Kamienski with another great game: 10 catches for 124 yards and that score, 14-0 North Central
The Vikings did have a response on their next possession: quarterback Thomas Hall finds Tag Gramp wide open in the flat for a touchdown, but the Vikings would muff the extra point attempt to leave the score at 14-6.
After that failed special teams play, the Vikings pull a fast one on the Cardinals and convert a surprise onside kick and had a chance to tie the game.
But the Cardinals defense had other plans, as Hall telegraphs this throw toward the end zone and Nick Rummell is there for the interception to negate the free possession from the onside kick and returns it to out near midfield. That’s Rummell’s first career interception.
Nine plays later and now into the second quarter, the Cardinals cash in with points off the turnover as Lehnen flips to Greenfield on the option and he dives over the goal-line for his second score of the afternoon; 20-6 North Central after a missed P-A-T
Later in the second quarter, Augustan trying to put more points on the board with a field goal attempt. But check out the leap here from senior Jake Beesley to knock down the kick with two hands and scoop up the ball for a nice gain as well.
Ten plays later, more points off of turnovers as it’s Greenfield again this time just pushing his way forward into the endzone to grow the Cardinal lead to 21 points.
After a Viking three and out, on the first play of the next drive Lehnen airs it out down the near sideline and drops this pass perfectly in stride for a streaking Blake Williams to take it the rest of the way for a 69-yard touchdown pass. Lehnen with 331 yards and 3 TDs in this one.
The defense of course did it’s part as well, like on this sack by Tyler Rich to bring down Hall and force another three and out. Augustana were held to just 3-of-16 on 3rd Downs by the Cardinal defense.
Ensuing drive for North Central, and it’s Greenfield yet again. Four total touchdowns and 154 total yards of offense for the star junior running back.
In the second half, the Cardinals spread the love on offense a bit. Terrence Hill with a two-yard touchdown run to make it a 48-6 lead. Seven different Cardinals were credited with rushing attempts.
Jake Johnson was one of two quarterbacks who came on in relief of Lehnen, and here he finds Terrence Hill who stretches for the pylon and his second score of the third quarter.
North Central capped off their offensive explosion in the 4th quarter with this 41 yard Thomas Mitchell field goal, the first of the sophomore’s career.
North Central Football Wins
And that would do it, the North Central football soars away from the Vikings on Homecoming day: 58-6.