Update, Dec. 9, 2019 / North Central College Cardinals will travel to Muhlenberg College (Pennsylvania) to play for next weekend’s @
Original Post, Dec. 8, 2019 / The quarterback-wide receiver combo of senior Broc Rutter and junior Andrew Kamienski have gotten a tremendous amount of love for North Central College – rightfully so.
But true freshman wide receiver DeAngelo Hardy came up big for the Cardinals with nine catches for 132 yards and a touchdown in North Central College’s 31-14 victory over Delaware Valley in a NCAA Division III national quarterfinal Saturday at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.
“I can’t say enough about him (Hardy), he came out there and made play after play, as a true freshman,” said Rutter. “He made some of the biggest plays of the game, momentum changers.”
Sophomore running back Ethan Greenfield’s contributions shouldn’t go unnoticed. His two touchdowns and 28 rushing attempts for 93 yards helped the Cardinals control the time of procession with sustained drives.
“Just sustaining those drives changed the game in a lot of ways,” said Greenfield.
The Cardinals burst out to a 17-0 halftime lead, thanks to a fourth-down touchdown run from Greenfield and Rutter’s 40-yard TD pass to Hardy.
The Aggies (11-2) responded with a pair of touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half to cut their deficit to 17-14.
Rutter and the Cardinals responded with a nine-play, 73-yard drive to take a 24-14 lead – capped by a TD pass to Kamienski – with 4:27 left in the third.
“Their defense was everything it was cracked up to be. Their front seven was extremely stout. So, it was difficult to get the running game going,” North Central College head coach Jeff Thorne said of Delaware Valley.
Rutter, a Gagliardi Trophy semifinalist for the second straight year, completed 23-of-33 passes for 253 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He distributed the ball to eight different receivers.
Delaware Valley had its 10-game winning streak snapped as North Central College has won nine consecutive games.
North Central College (13-1) makes its second trip to the Division III national semifinals and first since 2013 when it plays Muhlenberg College (Pa.) next Saturday.
Photos by Positively Naperville. Blake Baumgartner contributed to this story.