The Carthage College football team (1-5, 0-3 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) lost to CCIW-opponent and No. 23 Illinois Wesleyan University (6-0, 3-0 CCIW), 31-10, on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Art Keller Field in Kenosha, Wis.
Carthage took an early, 3-0 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Brett Bukari at 9:07 first period. Illinois Wesleyan went up, 7-3, at 7:11 second period with a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive that ended with a six-yard pass from Rob Gallik to Tate Musselman. A 65-yard pass completion to Musselman was the key play in that drive, bringing the ball to the Carthage nine-yard line. The Titans made it a 10-3 game just as the first half ended, a 13-play, 52-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 31-yard field goal by Michael Kelly.
The Titans went up, 17-3, at 1:02 third period with a seven-play, 56-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard TD pass from Gallik to Artie Checchin. Illinois Wesleyan scored three times in the fourth quarter. An eight-play, 41-yard drive at 11:54 ended with a two-yard run by Devonte Jones to make it 24-3. Late in the fourth period, Carthage's Pete Djurickovic was forced to punt from his own end zone. IWU took over at the Red Men's 19-yard line, and scored on a three-yard pass from Gallik to Musselman at 2:18 to up the lead to 31-3. Carthage scored on its final drive of the game on a seven-yard pass from Nick Anzelmo to Marcus Hines Jr. with 23 seconds to play for the final, 31-10 margin.
Illinois Wesleyan rolled up 387 total offensive yards, 146 yards rushing and 241 yards passing, while Carthage had 198 total yards, 39 on the ground and 159 passing. The Red Men actually had an edge in the time-of-possession, 32:22-27:38.
Illinois Wesleyan quarterback Rob Gallik completed 19-of-29 passes for 241 yards, with Artie Checchin catching nine passes for 107 yards. Titan tailback Devonte Jones ran for 81 yards on 17 carries. Carthage quarterback A.J. Simoncelli (So., Downers Grove, Ill./South) completed 14-of-28 passes for 110 yards with Jamahl Wright (So., Brookfield, Wis./Hartland-Arrowhead) catching five of those for 46 yards. Red Men middle linebacker Greg Money (Fr., Palatine, Ill./Fremd) led the Carthage defensive effort with 11 tackles (8 solo, 3 assisted).
"Illinois Wesleyan did a good job of finishing its drives," said Carthage coach Mike Yeager. "We did a good job early at keeping them out, but we didn't go a good job of tackling at the end. We have to do a better job of wrapping people up, and we have to run the ball better. We also gave them a few things, and that's when the score got out of hand. I don't want to take anything away from them—they're a good football team. We lost another offensive line starter this week, and that's made it even harder to gain any continuity in our rushing game. We had three freshmen in there tonight, and they did OK. We played hard. The effort was there, but we're falling short on techniques with tackles and blocks. We're close in a lot of areas, but that's not good enough."
Carthage travels to Naperville, Ill., on Saturday, Oct. 26 to take on defending-CCIW-champion and No. 4 North Central College (6-0, 3-0 CCIW) in a 2 p.m. contest at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.