NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- No. 5 ranked North Central College relied on four touchdown passes from Broc Rutter and a strong defensive effort to defeat Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 41-7 in the first NCAA Division III Playoff Game in Fightin' Engineer program history on Saturday at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.
Rose-Hulman junior Stanley Hogan III scored a 37-yard touchdown run on 4th-and-1 to highlight the Fightin' Engineer offense. Hogan rushed for a team-high 76 yards, with Kevin Dufauchard adding 44 rushing yards.
Senior Austin Swenson finished 20-42 through the air for 103 yards, and senior Alec Fisher set a school record for career receiving yards in the contest. Fisher finishes his career with 2,555 receiving yards and 35 touchdowns for a pair of school records.
Rutter led the North Central offense with a 21-33 performance through the air for 299 yards and four touchdown passes. Ryan Kuhl had seven catches for 110 yards and two scores, and Alex Ulmer hauled in seven receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Austin Breunig led the North Central ground game with 80 yards and two scores.
Defensively, Connor Kispert and Alec Thompson recovered fumbles, and Tyler Brutofsky had one interception as the Fightin' Engineers forced three turnovers on the day. Mike Henry had a team-high nine tackles, and Kaelen Garner added eight tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks.
The wind played a key role in the contest, as the first 41 points of the day were scored by the team with the wind at their back.
North Central improved to 11-0 on the season, while Rose-Hulman finished the campaign with an 8-3 record. The Fightin' Engineers also qualified for their first NCAA Football Playoff Game and won the 12th conference championship in program history in 2016.