Green Knights Rout Illinois College

From Sports Information Director, November 7, 2009 | Football
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. -- St. Norbert College wrapped up its 2009 regular season in dominating fashion with a 49-0 shutout of Illinois College in a Midwest Conference game at England Stadium.

The Green Knights finished the regular season 9-1 and hold out hope for one of six at-large berths into the 32-team NCAA Division III Playoffs. St. Norbert, which was ranked No. 10 in this week's NCAA West Region ranking, pitched back-to-back shutouts to end its regular season for the first time since blanking Loras and St. Joseph's (Ind.) to conclude the 1952 campaign.

St. Norbert dominated from start to finish, holding the Blueboys to seven first downs and forcing a whopping 13 punts. Illinois College gained just 119 yards of total offense, and quarterback Mitch Niekamp -- who threw for 467 yards at St. Norbert last season -- was held to just 60 in this game.

The Green Knights opened the scoring with a 12-play, 54-yard drive late in the first quarter, with Rob Berger finding Logan Krueger on a 5-yard touchdown pass with 1:12 left in the period.

Berger rushed for an 8-yard touchdown with 8:07 left in the second quarter, and John Weninger rushed for a 7-yard score with 1:04 left for a 21-0 lead at halftime.

Todd Sheedy had a 14-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter, and Berger found Krueger again for a 20-yard touchdown for a 35-0 lead with 5:05 left in the period. Sheedy's 2-yard run and Berger's 5-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Gezella early in the fourth quarter closed out the scoring.

St. Norbert registered 23 first downs and had 427 yards of total offense. Berger completed 20 of 31 passes for 217 yards with three touchdowns and one interceptions, and also had 42 rushing yards on eight carries. Weninger led St. Norbert on the ground with 59 yards on 15 carries, with St. Norbert rushing for 210 yards overall on 47 attempts. Jeremy Gezella caught nine passes for 119 yards.