Peter Sorenson, North Central’s star receiver, dropped the first pass thrown to him on Saturday in the frozen conditions at Bethel University’s field. Unfortunately for the home team, that did not turn out to be a trend.
North Central carved up Bethel’s defense with its passing game and Ryan Kent plunged for four touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to a 41-17 victory over Bethel in a Division III quarterfinal game.
Sorenson wound up catching six passes for 99 yards, Chad O’Cane caught a pair of touchdowns and North Central quarterback Spencer Stanek had no trouble throwing the ball despite the sub-zero wind chills and the slippery condition of the Bethel field.
Bethel hurt itself on offense with five turnovers, two of which stopped promising drives. The Royals were playing without starting quarterback Erik Peterson, who dislocated his throwing shoulder in last week’s victory over Wartburg. Senior Tom Keefe filled in for Peterson and did not have the good fortune that took place in the comeback victory a week earlier.
Bethel finished the season 12-1. North Central, now 13-0, advanced to the Division III semifinals for the first time in its history. It will play against Division III power Mount Union next Saturday.