KENOSHA — The Carthage College football team retained the Old Musket Saturday afternoon.
And the Red Men left little doubt that they wanted to keep it.
Erupting for 34 points in the first quarter, the Red Men went on to defeat Carroll University 55-20 at Art Keller Field in Kenosha. For Carthage coach Mike Yeager, the performance fulfilled his wish to make a statement from the start as he heads into a bye week.
“I think we played really, really well from the start,” he said. “Something we focused on this week to play better. Having slow starts the last two weeks hurt us. But we came out and did very well at the beginning in all three phases. When you are able to do that then you look up at the scoreboard and you are up 27-0 real quick, it really helps.”
The 55 points by Carthage (4-1, 2-1 CCIW) is the most it has scored against Caroll (1-3, 1-1 CCIW). The Red Men lead the all-time series 28-16 after winning back-to-back games.
Tommy Bazarek provided most of the offense, catching touchdown passes of 58 and 38 yards from Kyle Fribeg and returning a punt 57 yards for another score. Bazarek finished with three catches for 101 yards and four punt returns for 89 yards.
“Tommy Bazarek is a great kid and a great player,” Yeager said. “He has played a lot of football for us and done great on punt returns, receiving and blocking in the run game.”
Friberg completed nine of 13 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns. James Cobbs was on the receiving end of the first touchdown pass of the day on a 42-yard completion just over a minute into the game.
Jamel Davis and backup quarterback Kameron James each ran for a touchdown. James’ touchdown, 69-yard read option, was the first of his career.
Carthage’s defense forced three interceptions by Carroll’s Colton Bahling. Emmet Trost, Shawntrel Garner and Frankie Gazzano each picked off a Bahling pass with Garner’s being returned 42 yards for a touchdown. Trost almost accomplished the same pick-six feat on the third play from scrimmage by the Pioneers but was ruled down at the one to set up Davis.
Rounding out the scoring for the Red Men, Bobby Suchecki found Zach Grabner all alone in the end zone from six yard out to give Grabner his first career receiving touchdown.
The Red Men finished with 419 yards of total offense, which was well balanced with 230 coming on the through the air and 189 on the ground.