The Carthage College football team (5-4, 2-4 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin concluded its home schedule on Saturday, Nov. 5 with a 13-9 loss to CCIW-opponent and No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan University (8-1, 5-1 CCIW) at Art Keller Field in Kenosha, Wis.
Carthage had a 9-0 lead in the third period, thanks to three field goals by Kurt Krause (Sr., Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove). Krause attempted five field goals in the game and was successful on three-of-five. The first one, a 22-yarder at 6:55 first period, came on the Red Men's opening drive. The second one was a 30-yarder at 4:02 second period left Carthage with a 6-0 halftime lead The Red Men limited the Titans to 59 total offensive yards in the first half, with the time-of-possession heavily in Carthage's favor, 19:48 to 10:12.
Krause's third field goal, a 44-yarder at 10:09 third period put the Red Men up, 9-0. Illinois Wesleyan came right back with an 11-play, 82-yard scoring drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rob Gallik to tight end Parker Carroll at 4:29 third quarter. The point-after failed, and the Titans trailed, 9-6. In the fourth quarter, Illinois Wesleyan's Tony Angelos missed what would have been a 36-yard, game-tying field goal at 8:06. Following 17-yard punt return by Erich Bushong on the ensuing Carthage drive, the Titans took over at the Carthage 38-yard line. On the seventh play of the IWU drive, tailback Cameron Blossom scored from the one-yard line. This time, the Angelos point-after was good, and Illinois Wesleyan led by four points, 13-9. Quarterback Trevor Beazley fumbled on the first play of the next Red Men drive. The Titans took over at Carthage's 31-yard line and ran out the clock for the 13-9 victory.
Illinois Wesleyan collected 225 total offensive yards, 66 rushing and 159 passing, while Carthage had 240 total yards, 96 on the ground and 144 in the air. The Red Men wound up with a slight edge in time-of-possession, 31:20 to 28:40. Red Men halfback Reggie Miller (So., Downers Grove, Ill./South) ran for 81 yards on 21 carries. Trevor Beazley (Jr., Kenton, Ohio) completed 19-of-35 passes for 144 yards. Titan quarterback Rob Gallik was successful on 15-of-28 pass attempts for 159 yards. Illinois Wesleyan linebacker Michael Whittington collected a game-high 12 tackles, including nine solos. Carthage linebackers Brad Fortney (Sr., Antioch, Ill.) and Brandon Mecozzi (Jr., Kenosha, Wis./Bradford) had seven tackles each.
"This one hurts a lot," admitted Carthage coach Tim Rucks. "It's disheartening. We came to play today—that was obvious. We played hard, but we just weren't good enough to get it done at the end. We probably surprised some people with how competitive this game was, but we didn't get it done when we had to. Our defense in the first half was unbelievably good, but we couldn't establish any offensive consistency in the second half. It was disappointing that we couldn't come up with some touchdowns, instead of the field goals. As a result, the defense just spent too much time on the field, and that was our downfall."
Carthage closes out its 2011 season on Saturday, Nov. 12 with a 1 p.m. game versus Elmhurst College (5-4, 3-3 CCIW) at Langhorst Field in Elmhurst, Ill.