Time of Poss.
KENOSHA, Wis. – The Carthage College football team came out swinging on Saturday at Art Keller Field, as the Red Men hung 34 points on the Carroll University Pioneers in the first quarter to retain the Old Musket, 55-20.
"I think we played really, really well from the start. Starting strong was something we focused on this week and were able to do better," said head coach Mike Yeager following the win. "Having slow starts the past two weeks hurt us but we came out and did very well in the first quarter in all three phases. When you are able to do that then look up at the scoreboard and you are up 27-0 it really helps."
The win moves Carthage to 4-1 on the season and 2-1 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin as they head into their week-six bye. The Pioneers fall to 1-3 and 1-1 in the conference.
The 55 points scored against the Pioneers is the most by the Red Men, whom now lead the all-time series 28-16 after back-to-back wins.
Tommy Bazarek led the Red Men with a pair of receiving touchdowns from Kyle Friberg from 58 yards and 38 yards, along with a 57- yard punt return touchdown. Bazarek ended the day with three catches for 101 yards and four punt returns for 89 yards.
On Bazarek Yeager said, "Tommy Bazarek is a great kid and a great player. He has played a lot of football for us and done great on punt return, receiving and blocking in the run game."
Friberg was 9-of-13 on the day with 205 yards and three touchdowns. James Cobbs was on the receiving end of the first touchdown pass of the day on a 42-yard completion just over a minute into the game.
Jamel Davis and third-string quarterback Kameron James each recorded a rushing touchdown, including James' first career on a 69-yard read option.
"Kam is a great athlete and when you get him out in space in a one-on-one situation with the ability to make people miss he can make big plays and we saw that today with his long touchdown run."
The Carthage defense once again shined as they forced three interceptions by Carroll's Colton Bahling. Emmet Trost, Shawntrel Garner and Frankie Gazzano each picked-off a Bahling pass with Garner's being returned 42 yards for a touchdown. Trost almost accomplished the same pick-six feat on the third play from scrimmage by the Pioneers but was ruled down at the one to set up Davis.
On the defense's play the head coach stated, "Anytime you return an interception for a touchdown it's a huge play. Emmet probably should have had one as well but was tackled at the one-yard line. Obviously the defense did some great things today."
Rounding out the scoring for the Red Men, Bobby Suchecki found Zach Grabner all alone in the end zone from six yards out to give Grabner his first career receiving touchdown.
The Red Men finished with 419 yards of total offense, which was well-balanced with 230 coming through the air and 189 on the ground.
Carthage will return to action in two weeks as they host Elmhurst College at Art Keller Field for Family Weekend on October 14th. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.
"We have to get better with our technique because we are committing too many penalties that are costing us. Most importantly we need to get healthy. It is a long football season. We are beat up a little bit and missing some guys. So we need to be smart and balance it. We want to get fresh during this bye week for the second half of the season. We have a perfect location for the bye week."