Monday, December 23, 2019

Great Day to Be a Cardinal

DECEMBER 23, 2019 | written by STEVE ULRICH
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1.  'Great Day to be a Cardinal'

North Central College quarterback Broc Rutter (9) runs past Wisconsin-Whitewater defensive linemen Jermaine Copeland (77) during the second quarter of the NCAA Division III championship game in Shenandoah, Texas. (Jason Fochtman / AP Photo)

North Central (Ill.) capped off a memorable season with a convincing 41-14 victory over UW-Whitewater in the 47th Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.

QB Broc Rutter, the Gagliardi Trophy winner, threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs, while RB Ethan Greenfield ran for 138 yards and found the end zone three times for the Cardinals. WR Andrew Kamienski hauled in nine of Rutter's aerials for 134 yards and a score, setting a DIII record for TD catches in a season (31). Rutter set a Division record with 14,261 career passing yards.

But the stars of the night were the members of NCC's offensive line - Will Ebert, Sharmore Clarke, Jarod Thornton, Ricky Strba, and Colton Bauknecht - a unit that allowed the explosive Cardinal offense to average 47.4 points per game in the playoffs.

>> What They're Saying: “It’s a dream that was launched in 2002 when my dad (John) took this program over,” head coach Jeff Thorne said. “So many people have put so much into this, from the administration, to the players, alums, parents. To see it to completion and be able to hand that trophy to my dad was very special.”

>> Be Smart: “It’s cool to get that acknowledgement, but again, it’s all the offensive line,” Greenfield, the game's MVP, said. “I want them to have that award. I wouldn’t want to run behind anyone else. Their hearts explode out of their chests. They care so much and play so hard. They give everything to this team. Everything we accomplished is because of them.”

>> Keep Reading (Naperville Sun)
>> Go Deeper (
>> Great Day to Be a Cardinal (Naperville Sun)
2. All-America released its annual All-America team on Friday.
First Team Offense
QB-Broc Rutter, Sr., North Central; RB-Robert Shufford, Jr., Birmingham-Southern; RB-Josh Parks, Sr. St. Thomas; WR-Justin Hill, Sr., Mount Union; WR-Andrew Kamienski, Jr., North Central; TE-Dan Allen, Sr., Delaware Valley; T-Ben Bartch, Sr., Saint John's; G-Sharmone Clarke, Jr., North Central; C-Zach Smith, Sr., Hope; G-Garrett Garza, Sr., Texas Lutheran; T-Joe Krall, Sr., Monmouth

First Team Defense
E-Michael Nobile, Soph., Delaware Valley; T-Dallas McRae, Sr., Wheaton; T-Joey Longoria, Sr., Mary Hardin-Baylor; E-Frankie Feaster, Sr., Muhlenberg; LB-Tevin Jones, Sr., Mary Hardin-Baylor; LB-Dillon Keefe, Jr., Chapman; LB-Emmett Forde, Jr., Hobart; CB-Danial Shelton, Sr., Susquehanna; S-Jefferson Fritz, Jr., Mary Hardin-Baylor; S-Raeqwon Greer, Jr., Alfred; CB-Obasi Dees, Sr., Cal Lutheran.

First Team Specialists
K-Jon Alberts, Sr., Central; P-Alex Berg, Sr., Concordia-Moorhead; RET-A.J. Jackson, Fr., Lake Forest; ST-Willie Julkes, Sr., Concordia-Moorhead.

Complete Team

3.  Best of the Decade

We continue our "Best of the Decade" series with a look at the champions, runners-up and semifinalists in football.

Champions: UW-Whitewater (4), Mount Union (3), Mary Hardin-Baylor (2), North Central.

Runner-Up: Mount Union (5), St. Thomas (2), UMHB, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Whitewater.

Final Four Appearances: Mount Union (9), UW-Whitewater (7), UMHB (5), St. Thomas (3), UW-Oshkosh (3), Wesley (3), Linfield (2), North Central (2), Bethel, Brockport, John Carroll, Johns Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Saint John’s.

Friday: Tennis.


The weekend on the mat ... 
  • No. 1 Wartburg remained undefeated with a 24-9 victory over No. 10 North Central. The Knights top-ranked 184 Kyle Briggs decisioned No. 7 Cody Baldridge, 11-7.
  • No. 4 Wabash turned back two nationally-ranked foes, downing Merchant Marine, 34-12, No. 16 Messiah, 32-12, and No. 5 Johnson and Wales, 19-17. Maxwell Bishop decisioned sixth-ranked Michael Dirnardo, 4-2, at 285 to secure the win vs. J&W.

The weekend in hoops.
  • UW-River Falls toppled No. 8 Nebraska Wesleyan, 84-82. Noah Hanson led the Falcons (6-3) with 23 points. Nate Schimonitz tallied 39 in a losing cause for the Wolves (10-2).
  • Ripon handed Division II Northern Michigan an 80-75 defeat. Seth Kostroski led three players in double figures with 16.
  • La Roche's Tyler Frederick scored 34 points and gathered 12 rebounds as the Hawks defeated Pitt-Greensburg, 89-73.

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5. Weekend Review

Basketball (W)
  1. Tufts
  2. Scranton (d. Rosemont, 100-44)
  3. Bowdoin
  4. Hope
  5. Mary Hardin-Baylor
  6. Amherst
  7. Wartburg (d. St. Mary's MN, 91-54)
  8. DePauw
  9. George Fox
  10. DeSales

Basketball (M) -
  1. Swarthmore
  2. Emory
  3. Wittenberg
  4. Middlebury
  5. St. Thomas MN 
  6. Marietta
  7. Randolph-Macon
  8. Nebraska Wesleyan (lost vs. UW-River Falls, 84-82)
  9. UW-Platteville
  10. Washington U.

Wrestling (Dual Meet) - NWCA
  1. Wartburg (d. #10 North Central, 24-9; d. Trine, 44-4; d. Northern State, 31-6)
  2. Loras
  3. Augsburg
  4. Wabash (d. #5 Johnson & Wales, 19-17; d. #16 Messiah, 32-12; d. USMMA, 34-12)
  5. Johnson & Wales (lost vs. #4 Wabash, 19-17lost vs. #16 Messiah, 19-16; d. USMMA, 24-11; d. Muhlenberg, 27-16)
  6. Mount Union
  7. Baldwin Wallace
  8. Coe
  9. UW-La Crosse (d. #10 North Central, 21-15; d. Trine, 41-7; d. Minot State, 35-7)
  10. North Central (lost vs. #1 Wartburg, 24-9lost to #9 UW-La Crosse, 21-15; d. Trine, 41-5)

6.  Comings and Goings
7. 1 Holiday Thing

Eddie Murphy returned to NBC's Saturday Night Live and reprised a number of the old hits, including Mister Robinson's Neighborhood and Gumby to name a few. But you'll be seeing this one in SNL Christmas montages from now on. Happy holidays!
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