On a warm but blustery day with temperatures in the upper 50s and a 20-mile-an-hour wind, the Carthage College football team (1-8, 0-6 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) lost to CCIW-opponent Elmhurst College (4-5, 3-3 CCIW), 10-9, on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Langhorst Field in Elmhurst, Ill. The loss was the eighth in a row for the Red Men this season.
Following a scoreless first quarter, a 50-yard field goal attempt by the Bluejays' David Tomis was wide right at 14:54. Tomis missed another field-goal attempt, also wide right, at 9:09 second period, both attempts with the wind at his back. Carthage broke the scoreless tie when Brett Bukari (Sr., Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Beverly Hills-Detroit Country Day) booted a 36-yard field goal, this one into the wind, with 1:56 remaining in the first half.
The third time was the charm for Tomis, as he connected on a 28-yard field goal, again with the wind, at 4:18 third quarter to tie the game, 3-3. Elmhurst scored the game's first touchdown and took the lead, 10-3, at 6:13 fourth period. The Bluejays' scoring drive went 60 yards on 14 plays and ate up a full eight minutes.
The Red Men had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Nick Anzelmo (Fr., Schaumburg, Ill.) hooked up with tight end Robert Anderson (Jr., Chicago, Ill./Lane Tech) on an 11-yard touchdown pass at 4:10, but Bukari's point-after attempt was blocked by Eddie Beyer following a low snap. The Carthage scoring drive went 55 yards on five plays.
Elmhurst had 319 total offensive yards, well balanced with 156 yards rushing and 163 yards passing, while Carthage collected just 191 total yards. 43 on the ground and 148 in the air. The Bluejays had a whopping, 38:38 to 21:22 margin in time-of-possession and collected 22 first downs to 12 for the Red Men. Elmhurst quarterback Alex Giles completed 15-of-26 passes for 163 yards, with Eric Banyard catching seven of those for 70 yards. Zach Chapman ran for 61 yards on 19 carries.
For Carthage, Nick Anzelmo, sharing time at quarterback with A.J. Simoncelli (So., Downers Grove, Ill./South), completed 10-of-14 passes for 103 yards, with Pete Djurickovic (Sr., Pleasant Prairie, Wis./Kenosha-Bradford) catching five for 62 yards. Red Men middle linebacker Greg Money (Fr., Palatine, Ill./Fremd) collected a game-high 12 tackles (8 solo, 4 assisted).
"We had plenty of opportunities, "said Carthage coach Mike Yeager, "and not hitting the extra point that would have tied the game was frustrating. We didn't do a good job, defensively, at keeping Elmhurst from converting on third downs. You have to make those stops to win games. There a few plays on both sides of the ball that we did not make, and if we had, we might have broken this game wide open. You have to learn how to win, how to finish drives and how to close out games. We had our best week of practice this past week, and we'll need another great week to get ready for Millikin. We have to keep building Monday thru Friday to get this thing turned, and the wins will come when we have juniors and seniors leading us."
Carthage closes out the season on Saturday, Nov. 16 by playing host to conference-opponent Millikin University (1-8, 0-6 CCIW) in a 1 p.m. contest at Art Keller Field in Kenosha, Wis.