The Carthage College football team (1-4, 0-2 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) lost to CCIW-opponent and No. 13 Wheaton College (Ill., 5-0, 2-0 CCIW), 28-0, on Saturday, Oct. 12 in the Red Men's Homecoming game at Art Keller Field in Kenosha, Wis.
Wheaton took a 7-0 lead at 4:14 first period with a 12-play, 65-yard scoring drive that ended with a one-yard run by Jesse Geary. The game was halted for 35 minutes at 1:35 p.m. with 12:23 on the clock in the second period. When play resumed, Wheaton's Sam Cote missed a 32-yard field goal. The Thunder made it 14-0 at 1:19 second period on a 19-play, 75-yard drive that was capped with a three-yard run by Geary. Neither team scored in the third period, but Wheaton scored twice in the fourth quarter. An 11-play, 70-yard drive ended at 13:11 with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Roberts to David Washko. The Thunder's final touchdown came on a seven-play, 61-yard drive that ended with a 31-yard carry by Geary at 8:33.
Wheaton rolled up 435 total offensive yards, 227 rushing and 208 yards passing, while Carthage collected 256 yards, just eight yards rushing and 248 yards passing. The Thunder had a 33:05 to 26:55 edge in time-of-possession and a 25-16 advantage in first downs, including six-of-15 on third-down conversions. The Red Men, who have been plagued by turnovers the last few weeks, did not turn the ball over against the Thunder.
Wheaton quarterback Jordan Roberts completed 21-of-32 passes for 191 yards, with Jesse Geary catching seven passes for 57 yards and running for 115 yards on 21 carries. Carthage quarterback A.J. Simoncelli (So., Downers Grove, Ill./South) completed 28-of-42 passes for 248 yards with Jamahl Wright (So., Brookfield, Wis./Hartland-Arrowhead) catching 11 of those for 85 yards. Red Men outside linebacker Sean Oroni (So., Batavia, Ill.) led the Carthage defensive effort with 10 tackles (8 solo, 2 assisted).
"Wheaton is a good football team," said Carthage coach Mike Yeager, " and the game really came down to them making third-down plays. We had our share of opportunities to convert on third down but didn't. Against a good time like Wheaton, you have to control both the turnovers and the conversions. Wheaton also got the job done on the line, both offensively and defensively. We just have to get better and keep working on becoming better, fundamentally. We have to tackle better and block better. If we do that, you'll see us play better. Wheaton doesn't give you a lot of room on top of the defensive backfield, so we tried to take advantage of that they gave us, underneath."
Carthage plays host to conference-opponent Illinois Wesleyan University on Saturday, Oct. 19 in a 6 p.m. game, also at Art Keller Field.