On an otherwise-perfect October afternoon, the Carthage College football team (2-3, 1-1 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin) lost its Homecoming game to CCIW-opponent Elmhurst College (3-2, 2-0 CCIW), 49-42 in double-overtime, on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 11 at Art Keller Field in Kenosha, Wis.
Carthage took an early, 7-0 lead with a 10-play, 73-yard scoring drive that ended with a Nick Anzelmo touchdown run from the two-yard line at 10:17 first period. Elmhurst tied the game 13 seconds later on an 84-yard kickoff return by Tyler Smith at 10:04. The Red Men went back up, 14-7, on a 32-yard fumble-recovery return by Greg Money at 7:14 first period. The Bluejays knotted things again, 14-14, with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Joe Camiliere to Kaylon Miller at 1:17 first period.
Elmhurst almost turned the game into a rout in the second quarter with three unanswered touchdowns. After Nick Anzelmo was intercepted at midfield to end the first quarter, Camiliere completed a 34-yard scoring strike to Kaylon Miller at 14:51 second period. A nine-play, 60-yard scoring drive ended with a five-yard run by Josh Williams at 4:31, and a two-play, 51-yard scoring drive ended with a 20-yard TD run by Williams at 1:00, and the Bluejays led, 35-14, at halftime.
The second half was pretty much all Carthage, as the Red Men scored 21 unanswered points to tied the game in regulation, 35-35. A 63-yard interception return by Richard Motter set up the first touchdown in the third period, with Derek Bellamy scoring from the two-yard line at 9:11. A four-play, 65-yard drive was capped by a five-yard TD pass from Anzelmo to Tyler Walsh at 13:34 fourth period. Richard Motter blocked a Brett Bayer punt at the Bluejays 18-yard line, and that set up the game-tying touchdown, a seven-yard pass from Anzelmo to Jamahl Wright at 9:54 fourth quarter.
Elmhurst was forced to punt on its next drive, and Carthage turned the ball over on downs on its next possession. On the final Bluejays drive in regulation, Elmhurst marched from its own 33-yard line all the way to the Carthage 15-yard line. Brett Bayer attempted what would have been a game-winning field goal with 2.6 seconds on the clock, but the Red Men's Zac Pallissard blocked the kick to send the game into overtime tied at 35 each.
Carthage took a 42-35 lead in the first overtime period on a one-yard carry by Anzelmo. Elmhurst came right back with a 25-yard touchdown carry by Williams to tie the game, 42-42. Under overtime procedure, Elmhurst had the next possession, and Camiliere scored from the one-yard line to give the Bluejays a 49-42 advantage. The final Red Men drive stalled out on the 25-yard line to end the game, with Jamahl Wright not quite coming up with a touchdown pass at the back of the end zone on the game's final play.
Elmhurst rolled up 450 total offensive yards, 282 rushing and 168 passing, while Carthage had 332 total yards, 82 on the ground and 250 in the air. The Bluejays collected 28 first downs to 14 for the Red Men and had a 41:29 to 18:31 advantage in time-of-possession. Elmhurst running back Josh Williams ran for 249 yards and three touchdowns on 41 carries.
Carthage quarterback Nick Anzelmo (So., Schaumburg, Ill.) completed 17-of-37 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns, with James Cobbs III (Fr., Urbana, Ill.) catching six passes for 140 yards. Outside linebacker K.J. Simpson (So., Blue Island, Ill./Eisenhower) led the Carthage defensive effort with 11 tackles (9 solo, two assisted), including a sack.
"We played awful in the first half and gave Elmhurst everything," said Carthage coach Mike Yeager. "We had offensive opportunities in the first half but had some balls drop through our hands—you can't do that. The Tyler Smith kick return for a touchdown really hurt us. We played hard in the second half to get the game into overtime and did a heck of a job. Josh Williams is a great player, and he broke a lot of our tackles. It's a 60-minute game, usually, and we didn't play well enough in the first half. I'm sure Jamahl Wright feels terrible about not pulling in that touchdown pass on the final play of overtime, but he's a great kid and a great player, and I'm sure he'll make that play next time. This one hurts, but we can't let it derail us."
Carthage travels to Naperville, Ill., on Saturday, Oct. 18 to take on CCIW-opponent and No. 12 North Central College (4-1, 2-0 CCIW) in a 2 p.m. game at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.