For more than three quarters Saturday afternoon, the Carthage football team was right with the class of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin and one of the top NCAA Division III teams in the country.
Then the fourth quarter hit.
In the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, the top four finishers in the regular-season standings in baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball qualify for championship tournaments.
While football does not have a four-team conference tournament, Carthage would have been a qualifier this season if such a thing existed.
KENOSHA — On a day when the seniors for the Carthage football program were honored, it was a pair of underclassmen who made the biggest plays.
And they didn’t hold back on their future expectations for the team after the Red Men ended their home schedule with a gritty 14-6 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin win over North Park on Saturday afternoon at Art Keller Field.
KENOSHA — A sunny day in November and a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin football game being played at Art Keller Field.
Those were the days that former Carthage coach Tim Rucks lived for. And Carthage honored him appropriately on Saturday afternoon.
KENOSHA — The Carthage football team will recognize nine seniors when it hosts North Park in the final home game of the season 1 p.m. Saturday at Art Keller Field.
While Terrance Allen, Jacob Alten, Kevin Blank, Sam Calderaro, Mark Clark, Brendan Dix, Marquis Hines Jr., James Sowa and Rocco Zaccaro have lost more games than they have won, they have been instrumental in helping the Carthage program turn the corner.
KENOSHA — Seven yards. Seven.
That’s all the Carthage football team allowed in the second half of its 36-17 victory over visiting Millikin on Saturday afternoon.
Ethan Olles has earned another start.
Making his debut as the Carthage football team’s No. 1 quarterback last week, all the junior did was lead the Red Men to a 39-27 victory over Augustana — the program’s first in Rock Island, Ill., since 1970.
Victories by the Carthage football team over Augustana have been rare.
Road victories over the Vikings?
KENOSHA — One of the top players in Carthage College football history, Jim Jodat, died Wednesday in Lake Forest, Calif., after a nine-month battle with cancer.
Jodat, a Milwaukee native, was 61.
KENOSHA — For the first time this season, the North Central football team was held scoreless in the first quarter by upset-minded Carthage on Saturday night.
The high-powered Cardinals more than made up for it in the final three quarters, however.
KENOSHA — A starter in all 10 games last season for the Carthage football team, junior quarterback Nick Anzelmo is now No. 2 on the depth chart behind sophomore Bobby Suchecki.
The former No. 1 signal caller has still found a way to make impact plays in recent weeks, though, and is sure to get a chance for more when the Red Men host North Central 7 p.m. Saturday at Art Keller Field.
The Carthage football team ran for a season-high 336 yards on 40 carries in its 31-17 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin victory over Elmhurst (Ill.) on Saturday afternoon at Langhorst Field.
In doing so, the Red Men (2-3, 1-1 CCIW) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Bluejays (3-2, 0-2).
The turnover battle has been a lopsided one for the Carthage football team this season.
In four games, the Red Men have turned it over 14 times (11 interceptions, three fumbles) and have only four takeaways of their own (two interceptions, two fumbles).
KENOSHA — The Homecoming celebration started early on Saturday afternoon at Art Keller Field.
And Illinois Wesleyan took advantage.
KENOSHA — Judging by the 221 yards on 45 carries in last week’s come-from-behind 29-28 victory over Lakeland, the Carthage football team’s running game is alive and well.
It was the first time that the Red Men topped the 200-yard mark since Week 3 in the 2012 season when they had 201 yards in a 49-9 victory over Lakeland.
It was only fitting that the Carthage football team scored the go-ahead touchdown on the ground on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Lafayette McGary made his first collegiate touchdown one to remember when he plowed in from three yards out with 35 seconds remaining in a wild 29-28 non-conference victory over Lakeland at Taylor Field in Howards Grove.
There are 76 freshmen listed on the Carthage football roster.
Before the season opener, third-year head coach Mike Yeager singled out more than a dozen of those players as having a chance to make an impact in 2015.
There were a lot of strange happenings in the Carthage football team’s home opener on Saturday afternoon at Art Keller Field, none more bizarre than the sequence that ended the first quarter.
But the end result was no mystery.
KENOSHA — Eliminating turnovers will be the No. 1 objective when the Carthage football team entertains Olivet (Mich.) in the home opener 1 p.m. Saturday at Art Keller Field.
Carthage coughed the ball up six times — four interceptions and two fumbles — in a disappointing 35-6 loss to St. Norbert in last week’s season opener.
In the days leading up to his team’s season opener against St. Norbert, Carthage football coach Mike Yeager made a statement that has been uttered by thousands of coaches.
“For us to be successful,” he said, “you can’t turn the ball over against them.”
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Donald J. Schneider Stadium, De Pere
Third-year Carthage football coach Mike Yeager was adamant that the Red Men will be a different team in 2015.
“Just like we were better in ’14 than we were in ’13 … we’re going to be better this year,” he said earlier this week.
Has the Carthage football program turned the corner?
While last year’s 3-7 record, including 2-5 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, may indicate otherwise, the improvement was evident from the previous season when the Red Men went winless in the CCIW and won just one of their 10 games.
KENOSHA — Prior to last year’s season opener, the Carthage football team featured 81 freshmen on its 133-player roster and 16 were listed on the two-deep.
First-year players won’t be counted on quite as heavily in 2015.
No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
1 Darrin Funches Jr. DB 5-7 160 So. Merrillville (Ind.)
2 James Cobbs III WR 5-11 190 So. Urbana (Ill.)
3 Terrance Allen DL 6-4 230 Sr. Woodridge (Ill.)
4 K.J. Simpson LB 6-1 215 Jr. Blue Island (Ill.)
5 Kyle Friberg QB 6-1 175 Fr. Caledonia (Mich.)
6 Richard Motter DB 6-0 180 Jr. Dayton (Ohio)
7 Gregory Jinks DB 5-7 165 So. New Orleans
8 Tristan Peterson RB 6-0 175 So. Crown Point (Ind.)
9 Ethan Olles QB 6-2 190 Jr. Palatine (Ill.)
10 Marquis Hines Jr. WR 6-1 210 Sr. Green Bay
11 Shawntrel Garner DB 5-11 185 So. Milwaukee
12 Jake Sutter QB 6-1 175 Jr. Lake Geneva
13 Virgil Young DB 5-9 160 Fr. Lake Bluff (Ill.)
14 Nick Anzelmo QB 6-1 210 Jr. Schaumburg (Ill.)
15 Niko Messino WR 5-10 190 So. Plainfield (Ill.)
16 Brandon Holy DB 6-0 185 Fr. Bolingbrook (Ill.)
18 Bobby Suchecki QB 6-3 230 So. Rolling Meadows (Ill.)
19 Kyree Sago WR 6-2 205 Fr. Champaign (Ill.)
20 Tyler Walsh RB 5-8 181 So. Oswego (Ill.)
21 London Townsend RB 5-10 180 Jr. Milwaukee
22 Charles Sykes DB 5-10 175 Fr. Crown Point (Ind.)
23 Moaso Bumba DB 5-9 165 Fr. Urbana (Ill.)
24 Tommy Bazarek WR 5-10 165 Fr. Park Ridge (Ill.)
25 James Sowa DB 6-1 185 Sr. Roselle (Ill.)
26 Sam Calderaro RB 5-9 185 Sr. McHenry (Ill.)
27 Darquise Holman LB 5-10 190 So. Peoria (Ill.)
28 Ryan Dalton WR 6-2 195 So. Lockport (Ill.)
29 Carlos Singleton Jr. CB 5-7 150 Jr. Chicago
30 Emmet Trost LB 6-0 190 Fr. Elwood (Ill.)
32 Ricardo Mancilla DB 6-0 185 So. Chicago
33 Will Fairchild LB 6-0 210 Sr. Land O' Lakes (Fla.)
35 Lafayette McGary RB 5-7 175 Fr. Chicago
39 Frankie Gazzano DB 5-8 170 Fr. Roselle (Ill.)
40 Greg Money LB 5-11 215 Jr. Palatine (Ill.)
42 Rocco Zaccaro LB 5-10 195 Sr. Addison (Ill.)
44 Mark Clark RB 5-7 227 Sr. Downers Grove (Ill.)
45 Fred McCann P 6-3 190 Jr. Caledonia
46 Nicholas Piraino FB 5-11 215 So. Chicago
47 Leo Arvanitakis LB 5-11 211 So. Downers Grove (Ill.)
48 Ricky Klein K 6-0 195 Fr. Orlando Park (Ill.)
49 Seth McDorman DL 6-1 235 Jr. Bourbonnais (Ill.)
50 Dan Pauscher DL 6-1 250 So. Elk Grove (Ill.)
51 Joe Godlevske OL 6-0 260 So. Indianapolis
52 Nick Ganzke LB 5-11 200 So. New Berlin
53 Eric Freeman DL 6-0 270 Fr. Flossmoor (Ill.)
54 Camden Cotter OL 6-3 270 So. South Elgin (Ill.)
57 Pete Laughlin DL 6-2 225 So. Oswego (Ill.)
58 Nick Boelte DL 6-1 215 So. Rockton (Ill.)
59 Malik Terry DL 6-0 255 Fr. Milwaukee
66 Nick Barker OL 6-2 320 Fr. Tinley Park (Ill.)
70 Griffen Schaefer OL 6-2 265 So. Des Plaines (Ill.)
71 Rocco Rasnic OL 6-2 260 Jr. Woodridge (Ill.)
74 Jacob Alten OL 5-11 260 Sr. Loveland (Ohio)
75 Patrick Purvin DL 6-4 250 So. Ingleside (Ill.)
76 Kevin Blank OL 6-0 265 Sr. Neenah
77 Nick Wolf OL 6-1 330 Jr. Maineville (Ohio)
78 Jalen Reams OL 6-1 280 So. Downers Grove (Ill.)
79 Isaiah Trussell OL 6-3 320 So. Racine
80 Sean Wells TE 6-2 245 Fr. Scottville (Mich.)
81 Ethan Chester TE 6-3 205 So. Lemont (Ill.)
82 Eddie Miklasz WR 5-11 180 Fr. Arlington Heights (Ill.)
86 Jon Gomulka TE 6-3 225 Jr. Lake Villa (Ill.)
88 Javier Rhoades TE 6-2 225 Jr. Chicago
89 Alexander Lemon WR 6-1 155 Fr. Franklin Park (Ill.)
90 Zach Rosillo DL 5-10 275 So. Imlay City (Mich.)
91 Chase Blotkamp DL 6-0 230 Fr. Huntertown (Ind.)
92 Gus Eisele DL 6-2 340 So. Poplar Grove (Ill.)
97 Jeremy Behnke DL 6-1 235 Fr. Lake in the Hills (Ill.)
98 Elliott Stahler P 6-3 185 Sr. Santa Monica (Calif.)
99 Cedrick Fry DL 6-1 295 Fr. Urbana (Ill.)
Thomas Alwin DL 5-11 255 Fr. Geneva (Ill.)
Daniel Bakovich LB 5-7 185 Fr. Westchester (Ill.)
Mike Beller WR 5-11 185 Fr. Homer Glen (Ill.)
Dakota Bickers K/P 6-0 176 Fr. Kildeer (Ill.)
Tony Block Jr. WR 6-2 205 Jr. Willowbrook (Ill.)
Marcus Boone WR 6-2 155 Fr. Burlington
Aaron Brown LB 5-11 210 Fr. Highland Park (Ill.)
Connor Calvert DB 5-8 185 Fr. Caledonia (Mich.)
Mike Candre LB 6-0 190 So. St. Charles (Ill.)
Connor Cavins FB 6-0 215 Fr. Oswego (Ill.)
Gary Common Jr. OL 5-11 345 Fr. Chicago
Isaiah Cottman WR 5-11 165 Fr. Bartlett (Ill.)
Brett DeJardin QB 6-1 180 Fr. Green Bay
Amani Dennis DB 5-11 180 Fr. Lake Zurich (Ill.)
Brendan Dix TE 6-2 220 Sr. Oak Lawn (Ill.)
Justin Dzybinski LB 5-9 185 Fr. Oak Creek
Tucker Fenwick LB 5-11 190 Fr. Arlington Heights (Ill.)
Marco Flores RB 5-5 140 Fr. Appleton
Evan French WR 6-0 185 Fr. Joliet (Ill.)
Sam Fritzinger QB 5-8 150 Fr. Janesville
Lawrence Gaines III LB 5-9 180 Fr. Munster (Ind.)
Kameron Garner WR 5-11 175 Fr. Southfield (Mich.)
Jahmeek Garrison OL 6-0 305 Fr. Kankakee (Ill.)
Grant Gaynor DB 6-0 175 Fr. Carmel (Ind.)
Chris Goldschmidt OL 6-2 305 Fr. Alsip (Ill.)
Zach Grabner OL 6-0 260 Fr. Omro
Andre Green FB 5-8 240 Fr. Chicago
Brandon Gregory DB 5-11 165 Fr. McHenry (Ill.)
Robert Hamilton DB 5-7 156 Fr. Mundelein (Ill.)
Brandon Hausner RB 5-9 190 Fr. Fontana
Mateo Infusino RB 5-6 165 Fr. Kenosha
Jared Israel Jr. DT 6-0 370 Fr. Chicago
Marlo Johnson Jr. RB 6-0 210 Fr. Buffalo Grove (Ill.)
Jacob Kastler OL 6-2 315 Fr. Bolingbrook (Ill.)
Kyle Kesul WR 5-11 185 Fr. Lake in the Hills (Ill.)
Zach Kimmel LS 6-1 215 Fr. Bradley (Ill.)
Tucker King OL 6-4 270 Fr. La Porte (Ind.)
Anthony Kudra III OL 6-2 290 Fr. Crete (Ill.)
Aaron Leggero WR 6-0 190 Fr. Machesney Park (Ill.)
Isaiah Lopez WR 5-6 145 Fr. Alsip (Ill.)
Dominic Lucito RB 5-7 165 Fr. Munster (Ind.)
Mike Maly FB 5-8 185 Fr. McHenry (Ill.)
Kahlel Martin OL 5-11 265 Fr. Bolingbrook (Ill.)
Niko Mavrogiannis K/P 5-7 180 Fr. Mokena (Ill.)
Matthew McCray DL 5-9 260 Fr. South Holland (Ill.)
Mike McGonegle OL 6-5 280 Fr. Kenosha
Mason McIntosh DB 5-11 170 Fr. Lake Villa (Ill.)
Alejandro Muñoz LB 5-9 180 Fr. Chicago
Nate Paniak DB 5-8 165 Fr. New Lenox (Ill.)
Joey Pausa DB 5-9 150 So. Island Lake (Ill.)
Jason Piles LS 6-0 205 So. Chesterfield (Mo.)
Dakota Prozanski QB 6-1 190 Fr. Kenosha
Jose Ramirez DE 6-0 245 Fr. Racine
Mack Ripley OL 6-3 240 Fr. Decatur (Ind.)
Cole Sellers LB 5-10 180 Fr. White Pigeon (Mich.)
Joe Shirley WR 6-0 165 Fr. New Lenox (Ill.)
Jake Sizemore TE 6-1 225 Fr. Horicon
Xavier Sizer DB 5-10 165 Fr. Chicago
Nicklaus Smith WR 6-3 180 Fr. New Lenox (Ill.)
Bryce Staker DL 6-2 280 Fr. Whiteland (Ind.)
Anthony Tierney TE 6-0 205 Fr. Grayslake (Ill.)
Lance Unland K 5-9 190 Fr. Plainfield (Ind.)
Jonathan Walker DB 5-6 150 So. New Orleans
Bobby Waltz OL 6-2 265 Fr. Bartlett (Ill.)
Will Watkins S 5-11 185 Fr. Menomonee Falls
Justus Wood DL 5-10 210 Fr. Huntley (Ill.)
Andre Woods WR 6-0 190 Fr. Chicago
Head coach—Mike Yeager, third season (4-19)
Assistant coaches—Jared Elliott (co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Dustin Hass (defensive coordinator/defensive backs), Joe Hensel (defensive line), Kyle Rooker (co-offensive coordinator/offensive line). Part-time assistant coaches—Wes Chatterton (assistant offensive line), Eric Kosterman (tight ends). Graduate assistant coaches—Larry Black Jr. (defensive tackles), Deon Broomfield (safeties), Akeem Needum (running backs), Dan Reineck (wide receivers)
Sept. 5 — St. Norbert 35, Carthage 6
Sept. 12 — Olivet 42, Carthage 32
Sept. 26 — Carthage 29, Lakeland 28
Oct. 3 — Illinois Wesleyan 21, Carthage 17
Oct. 10 — Carthage 31, Elmhurst 17
Oct. 17 — North Central 41, Carthage 17
Oct. 24— Carthage 39, Augustana 27
Oct. 31 — Carthage 36, Millikin 17
Nov. 7— Carthage 14, North Park 6
Nov. 14 — Wheaton 17, Carthage 3