A week after cruising to their seventh victory of the season by taking down Carroll University by a score of 60-21, the ninth ranked Cardinals (7-1) will host the Carthage College Red Men (6-2). By no means should you expect another blow out in this week’s matchup. The Red Men currently sit tied for third with Millikin University and a Wheaton College team that handed the Cardinals their only loss of the season on Oct. 16.
This will also be a big weekend for the team as the seniors will take the field at Benedetti-Wehrli stadium for the last time during the regular season. While the Cardinals are only losing 16 players after this season, there are some names that will end up leaving some pretty big holes, including:
DB Pat Cravens, LB Tyler Oakley, DB Mike Zebold, WR Ryan Kuhl, RB Austin Breunig, K Liam Crotty, DL Ben Wiley, LB Tommy Sora, DL Drew Hayes, OL Dom DeAngelo, DL Cody Rudnik, DL Emonte Logan, OL Alec Licar, OL Dalton Ness, OL Joe Fehrle, DL Billy Douds.
If any of these names jump out it’s likely because you hear them regularly on Saturdays. Pat Cravens has been a huge part of the Cardinals defense and special teams units. Ryan Kuhl has been a huge (literally, standing at 6’4”) part of the passing game for the Cardinals, annually getting recognition from the CCIW. Austin Breunig has been a swiss army knife for North Central, working as a running back, receiver and kick returner. He’s tied various school records and garnered all kinds of recognition from the CCIW.
Liam Crotty has been nearly perfect as the primary placekicker over the past two seasons, making 96 percent of his field goal attempts. Tommy Sora has been a key part of the defense, recording 208 tackles through four years on the varsity team. DeAngelo, Ness, Licar and Fehrle have all been part of a dominant offensive line with Fehrle receiving recognition for his play at left tackle. Billy Douds has made a habit out of making opposing quarterbacks nervous, recording 15.5 sacks over the past three seasons and receiving various recognition for his work on the defensive line.
The senior Cardinals have just two more games to shine in the regular season, but leave the team in the hands of some promising young players who are already hitting their stride. Here’s a look at how the teams fare against each other statistically in this week’s matchup:
|Rushing Yds. PG||Passing Yds. PG||3rd Down CNV %||Red Zone
While North Central leads Carthage in every stat aside from turnovers, expect this weekend’s game to stay competitive. This is going to be a big matchup between two heavyweight offenses and should be fun to check out.
Want to be a part of the Cardinals’ football action?
Game time: 1pm
Tune-in: WONC-FM 89.1
Watch: NCTV 17
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