Carthage 30, Franklin 27
KENOSHA, Wis. — On a perfect autumn day with just a touch
of cool in the air, the Carthage College football team (1-0, 0-0
College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) opened its 2010
season on Saturday, Sept. 4 by edging Franklin College (0-1),
30-27, at Art Keller Field in Kenosha, Wis.
The first 22 minutes of the game turned into a field-goal battle, with Franklin's Cole Richards converting two in the second period for a 6-3 lead at 8:33. His first one, a 24-yarder, came at 14:50 and the second, a 27-yarder came at 8:33. Carthage's Tyler Funk drilled a 38-yard field goal at 8:29 first period to give the Red Men a 3-0 lead.
The Grizzlies took a 13-3 lead with 38 seconds remaining in the half on a three-yard touchdown pass from Zane Schroeder to Kameron Silcock that capped an 11-play, 48-yard drive. Tyler Funk kicked another field goal, a 42-yarder, as time ran out in the first half to close the gap to 13-6. Carthage tied the game, 13-13, at 10:38 third period on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Evan Jones to Jerome Brown. The two hooked up again on another 20-yard TD pass at 1:07 third period to put the Red Men up, 20-13. Franklin tied the contest, 20-20, with 10 seconds to go in the third quarter on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Schroeder to Kyle Linville.
Tyler Funk's third field goal of the game, a 25-yard boot at 8:58 fourth period, put Carthage up to stay, 23-20. The Red Men tacked on a touchdown at 1:23 fourth quarter to take a 10-point lead, 30-20. Jake Smith's five-yard carry capped a long, 92-yard, 11-play drive that ate up 4:54. Things got interesting in the final minute, as the Grizzlies marched 71 yards on five plays in 34 seconds to score and make it a three-point game, 30-27, with 43 seconds to play. Schroeder hooked up with Linville on a 21-yard scoring strike to end that lightning drive. An on-side kick attempt by Franklin was not successful, and Carthage ran out the clock for the victory.
Carthage had 431 total offensive yards, 341 passing and 90 yards rushing, while Franklin collected 462 total yards, 372 in the air and 90 on the ground. Red Men quarterback Evan Jones completed 26-of-45 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Pete Djurickovic, playing his first collegiate game, caught seven passes for 100 yards, including a 40-yarder in the final period. Chris Schulz caught six passes for 68 yards and Mike Koeneman five for 56 yards. Running back Jake Smith collected 56 yards on 16 carries. Grizzlies quarterback Zane Schroeder completed 21-of-30 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns, with Kyle Linville catching five for 133 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"This was a great win for us," said Carthage coach Tim Rucks. "Franklin College is going to win a lot of games this year. They're a good, solid football team. Getting Tyler Funk's field goal at the end of the first half was huge, because we knew we were getting the ball back to start the second half. We won this game today, oddly enough, because of our running game. We scored on a 92-yard drive in the last period without throwing a single pass. Who would thought that, watching us for the last couple of years? We did a great job of eating clock in the final minutes. Lakeland will be another good game next week. That's turned into a good rivalry, and we sometimes struggle up there."
Carthage travels to Howards Grove, Wis., on Saturday, Sept. 11 to play Lakeland College in a 1 p.m. game at John Taylor Field.