On a cold and blustery evening, the Carthage College football team (5-3, 2-3 CCIW) defeated CCIW-opponent North Park University (2-6, 0-5 CCIW), 23-10, on Saturday night, Oct. 30 at Art Keller Field in Kenosha, Wis. The North Park loss extended the Vikings' CCIW losing streak to 73 games going back to the 2000 season.
North Park took a 3-0 lead at 11:32 first period on a 21-yard field goal by Bryn Nottoli. Carthage went up, 7-3, at 7:03 with a 16-play, 88-yard scoring drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown pass from Evan Jones to Chris Schulz. The Red Men made it 10-3 at 8:57 second period on a 42-yard field goal by Tyler Funk. The Vikings knotted the game, 10-10, just before the half ended on a seven-play, 62-yard scoring drive that was capped by a three-yard carry by Matt Hassan with 14 seconds to play.
After an almost-scoreless third period, Carthage took the lead, to stay, 17-10, with 33 seconds to play in the quarter on an 11-play, 58-yard scoring drive that ended with a five-yard TD pass from Jones to Tim Lukas. The Red Men added a final touchdown at 10:35 fourth period on a 23-yard carry by Marty Dwyer for the final, 23-10 margin. Carthage rolled up 401 total offensive yards, 145 rushing and 256 passing, while North Park had 262 total yards, all on the ground. The Red Men's Evan Jones completed 23-of-40 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Schulz caught seven passes for 101 yards, and Jake Smith caught six for 76 yards. Vikings quarterback Tyler Krebs attempted just three passes with no completions, but he rushed for 176 yards on 25 carries. Carthage defensive end Cory Radke collected a game-high 12 tackles (11 solo, 1 assisted), including one sack and two tackles-for-loss.
"We needed a win," said Carthage coach Tim Rucks. "When it came down to nut-cracking time, our kids did the job. We were a little flat and out of synch in the first half, but we found a way to get it done in the second half. We weren't getting to their quarterback in the first half, but we made some adjustments, and North Park had a lot of three-and-outs in the second half. Cory Radke had a great game tonight on defense, as did Brad Fortney and Kelly Jauch. People have to step up and make plays, and some guys did that tonight. Illinois Wesleyan will be fun next week. They're a good team, and it'll be fun."
Carthage travels to Bloomington, Ill., on Saturday, Nov. 6 to play CCIW-opponent and No. 35 Illinois Wesleyan University (6-2, 3-2 CCIW) in a 1 p.m. game at Wilder Field at Illinois Wesleyan Stadium.