Submitted by North Central College
The football team was able to post an exhibition victory on its trip to Spain Sunday, defeating the Spanish national team, 36-3, in the Barcelona Classic at the Estadi Municipal D'athletisme Joan Serrahima in Montjuic Park.
Playing a team comprised of 50 players from clubs throughout Spain, the Cardinals rolled to a large early lead and kept their counterparts out of the end zone to post a win in Europe for the third straight time. North Central also visited Italy in 2006 and Switzerland in 2009.
The Cardinals scored on their first drive of the game, as Nick Kukuc ran around the left end for the game's initial touchdown. Kukuc scored again later in the first quarter on a run up the middle, and Ryan Kent added a two-point conversion run to boost North Central's lead to 14-0.
Alex Haan managed the quarterbacking duties for North Central, and authored the Cardinals' first score of the second period. Scrambling to his right, Haan completed a touchdown pass to David Walsh in the back corner of the end zone then ran for the conversion to leave the score at 22-0. After forcing a punt on the ensuing possession, North Central got a touchdown from its special-teams unit, as Josh Mitchell fielded the ball and returned it for the score. Kukuc's conversion run made it a 30-0 score late in the second period.
After forcing its fifth punt of the first half, the Cardinals got their final score on a 75-yard pass from Haan to Chad O'Kane on the first play of the following series. North Central carried a 36-0 advantage into halftime.
The final score of the day came on the first drive of the third quarter, as Spain's offense was stalled at the goal line but did get a short field goal from kicker Alvaro Guitian.
The Cardinals arrived in Spain on June 11 and return June 19. In addition to the game, North Central was afforded the opportunity to enjoy guided tours and opportunities to explore the culture of one of Europe's most unique tourist destinations.
The Cardinals open the regular season on Saturday, Sept. 1, hosting the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.