Vikings Overwhelm Benedictine; Other Contests Mixed

Post a Comment » Written on September 29th, 2008     
Filed under: News
By Stan Friedman

CHICAGO, IL (September 29, 2008) – Tough running by senior Jacob Mueller, and an opportunistic defense led by the strong play of freshmen, powered the North Park University Vikings to a 35-10 Homecoming victory over Benedictine on Saturday.

Mueller ran for 98 yards on 27 carries and scored two touchdowns. The defense forced six turnovers and repeatedly gave the offense good field position.

The Eagles struck first in the opening quarter when Brian Goff kicked a 22-yard field goal, but the rest of the game belonged to North Park.

The Vikings (1-2) answered on their next series to go up 7-3. Freshman wide receiver Jeremy Dybdahl took a handoff from junior quarterback Shelby Wood and then threw 31 yards to sophomore Sam Lialios to cap a six-play, 67-yard drive.

The Eagles (0-3) intercepted Wood at the North Park 42-yard line, but the Viking defense held Benedictine in check and took over on offense at their own 35.

The Vikings made it 14-3 when Mueller forced his way for a six-yard touchdown, which ended an eight-play, 65-yard drive.

North Park then took the ball right back when freshman Fred Flihan recovered a Benedictine fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Two plays later freshman Sam Cochiaro pulled in a 38-yard touchdown pass from Wood to put North Park up 21-3.

The teams traded punts but Viking freshman Jordan Hill recovered a Benedictine fumble on the kick, and North Park got the ball back at the Benedictine 46-yard line. The Vikings were unable to convert and were forced to punt.

The Eagles mounted a drive from their nine, but the Viking defense again held, and the half ended with North Park leading 21-3.

The Eagles received the ball to open the second half and were threatening when freshman Rod Ojong recovered a Hitt fumble and returned it to the Eagles’ 42.

The Vikings took advantage of the opportunity. Mueller capped a nine-play, 41-yard drive, when he slipped into the end zone on a fourth-and-goal from the one. The Vikings led 28-3.

North Park caught a break when a roughing the passer penalty on Benedictine negated an interception that was returned for a 60-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Viking offense again took advantage of the Benedictine mistake. Lialios wrestled away a 25-yard pass from an Eagles defender in the corner of the end zone to pad the Viking lead to 35-3.

Freshman Caleb Serrano  and sophomore Nick Pantaleo picked off Hitt on successive drives, but the offense was not able to convert those mistakes to points.

The Eagles scored their only touchdown on a six-yard scamper by running back Mark Mathers to put the score at 35-10.

The Vikings closed the game when freshman Justin Hernandez forced another Hitt fumble and freshman Abe Farhat recovered.

The Vikings rushed for 175 yards and netted 157 yards through the air. Wood completed 9 of his 15 passes for 126 yards with two touchdowns.

During halftime, the North Park football family honored the 1968 football team, which earned a record-breaking 104-32 victory over North Central College on its way to a 6-3 record and a second-place finish in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin that season.

North Park also commemorated the 25th anniversary of the 1983 baseball team, which established a school record of 33 wins on its way to a CCIW title and an appearance in the NCAA tournament. Former North Park Sports Information Director Dennis Prikkel made the presentations.

North Park (1-2) returns to action next Saturday when it takes CCIW opponent Wheaton College in Wheaton at 1 p.m.

Women’s Soccer Has Mixed Results

The women’s soccer team dominated their first opponent of the week, but lost their second contest. The Vikings defeated host Mt. Mary College 18-0 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday. Senior midfielder Alyssa Jacobson led all scorers with five goals, and four other Vikings scored at least two.

The women lost their Saturday night Homecoming match 3-0 to visiting Webster University. North Park (2-6) returns to action Wednesday night when it takes on CCIW opponent Carthage College at 7 p.m.

Volleyball Team Takes One of Two

The North Park volleyball team defeated host Dominican University 26-24, 21-25, 25-13, 27-25 in nonconference action Tuesday night. The team suffered a tough loss to CCIW opponent Elmhurst College on Friday, battling the Bluejays 25-19, 22-25, 18-25, 26-24, 9-15. The Vikings (15-6, 0-3) return to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday when they travel to Wheaton.

Men’s Soccer Splits Close Contests

North Park defeated Concordia University Chicago 3-1 in a home match Monday night last week. The game was tied 1-1 until the Vikings pulled away in the second half.  The Vikings fell to CCIW opponent Wheaton 2-1 in a tightly fought contest. North Park (0-1-0, 5-4) travels to Carthage for a 5 p.m. Wednesday contest.

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