The Carthage College football team (5-5, 2-5 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) closed out its 2011 season on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 12 with a 28-7 loss to CCIW-opponent Elmhurst College (6-4, 4-3 CCIW) at Langhorst Field in Elmhurst, Ill. With the loss, Carthage missed a chance to post its third-straight winning season and its 11th in head coach Tim Rucks' 17 years with the Red Men.
On a pleasant, late-fall day, Elmhurst broke a scoreless tie at 11:59 second period when tailback Scottie Williams scored on a 15-yard touchdown run, capping an 11-play, 91-yard scoring drive and giving the Bluejays a 7-0 lead. Elmhurst made it a 14-0 game at 6:32 second period when Williams scored from the four-yard line, ending an eight-play, 72-yard drive. Carthage answered 25 seconds later when quarterback Trevor Beazley broke a blitz with a 39-yard screen pass to Reggie Miller for a touchdown at 6:07, cutting the Elmhurst lead to 14-7. That was the halftime score.
The Bluejays scored on their opening drive of the second half on a one-yard TD pass from quarterback Joe Furco to tight end Griffin Gibson. That score came at 11:31 third period, upping the lead to 21-7. Elmhurst made it a 28-7 game at 11:45 fourth period when Furco hooked up with Gibson on a 12-yard scoring strike. The Bluejays' Trevor Spaulding missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt at with 4:41 to play, and the final score was 28-7.
Elmhurst rolled up 516 total offensive yards, 281 yards rushing and 235 yards passing, while Carthage had 253 total yards, just 39 on the ground and 214 in the air. The time of possession was heavily in favor of the Bluejays, 40:39 to 19:21. The Red Men had the ball for only six minutes and 57 seconds in the second half. The Bluejays' Scottie Williams ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries, while quarterback Joe Furco completed 18-of-29 passes for 235 yards and two TDs. Joe Gentile caught six passes for 73 yards. Carthage halfback Reggie Miller (So., Downers Grove, Ill./South) ran for 62 yards on 10 carries, and quarterback Trevor Beazley (Sr., Kenton, Ohio) completed 15-of-29 passes for 180 yards.
"It was a frustrating game," admitted Carthage head coach Tim Rucks, " and it was symptomatic of how the season went. We couldn't stop them, and we couldn't get anything going offensively. The best way to defend Scottie Williams is to keep him off the field, and we didn't do that. We needed a lot of first downs to keep him on the sideline, but we didn't get that done. Elmhurst is a well-coached team, and if you keep the ball for 40 minutes, that's the way to win games. They know what they're doing, and they're good up front. They mix things up well, and they ran the play-action stuff very well. We were just kept off-balance the entire game. We need to get better—we're not happy being 5-5. Our kids aren't happy about it, and I'm not happy about it. That's the sign of a good program. A lot of schools would be happy about a.500 season, but we certainly aren't. Our goal every year is to win the CCIW title, and we have a lot of work to do in the off-season. Carthage football is about playing to win."