On cool, damp afternoon, the Carthage College football team (6-4, 3-4 CCIW) closed out its 2010 season on Saturday, Nov. 13 with a 28-6 win over CCIW-opponent Elmhurst College (6-4, 3-4 CCIW) at Art Keller Field in Kenosha, Wis.
Carthage took an early, 6-0 lead when quarterback Evan Jones connected with wide receiver Pete Djurickovic on a 48-yard touchdown pass at 10:51 first period. The two-point conversion failed. On the ensuing Elmhurst drive, Carthage defensive back Brian Hipchen intercepted a Joe Furco pass at the Carthage three-yard line and returned it 63 yards. The Red Men worked the ball to the Bluejays nine-yard line but had to settle for a 32-yard Tyler Funk field goal at 4:58 and a 9-0 lead. Carthage made it a 15-0 game late in the period. A 57-yard pass from Jones to Mike Koeneman gave the Red Men the ball at the Bluejays' 10-yard line. Five plays later, Jones carried the ball in from the one for touchdown, but the two-point conversion failed.
Elmhurst got on the board with a second-period scoring drive of 64 yards on 10 plays that was capped by a four-yard pass from Furco to Bobby Vavlas at 10:25. The point-after failed thanks to a bad snap, and Carthage led by nine points, 15-6, at halftime. Following a scoreless third period, the Red Men put the game away with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. A 14-play, 82-yard scoring drive ended with an 18-yard TD pass from Jones to Jake Smith at 11:00 for a 21-6 lead. Tyler Funk's kick for the extra point was blocked. Following Brian Hipchen's third interception of the game, Smith scored again on an eight-yard carry at 8:17. Funk connected on the game's only extra-point for the final, 28-6 margin. Hipchen ended the regular season as the CCIW leader in pass interceptions with 10 in nine games.
The total offensive yardage was just about even. Elmhurst had 346 yards, 103 rushing and 243 passing, while Carthage had 343 yards, 144 on the ground and 199 in the air. There were eight total interceptions, five by the Red Men and three for the Bluejays. Evan Jones, who owns virtually all of the Red Men's career passing records, closed out his Carthage career by completing 12-of-29 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Koeneman caught four passes for 98 yards, while Jake Smith rushed for 135 yards on 28 carries. Joe Furco completed 26-of-50 passes for 243 yards, and Bluejays running back Scottie Williams carried 20 times for 112 yards.
"After a devastating loss to Illinois Wesleyan last week, rallying for the Elmhurst win says a lot about our kids," said head coach Tim Rucks. "The defensive unit played with a mission and played hard. We didn't give them an inch, and they Elmhurst didn't have an answer for our defense. Jake Smith played a great game, and he should be a first-team all-conference player next week. He's an out-and-out football player. We're really going to miss him next year. While it wasn't a banner day for Evan Jones, that doesn't matter, because he did so much over his Carthage career. He re-wrote the record book, and that couldn't happen to a better person. Brian Hipchen should also be an All-CCIW player. We moved him to a cornerback this year, and that was really a great idea on the part of defensive coordinator John Sedeska. You try to win championships every year. That's what we do, but this has been a good group to coach. We ended the year with a satisfying win. We had a another winning season, and I like the consistency."