DECATUR, Ill. — Fueled by a huge game from the Carthage College offense, the Red Men defeated Millikin 53-50 Saturday night at Frank M. Lindsay Field after David Collins hit a 46-yard field goal as time expired.
The Red Men (3-3, 3-2 CCIW) came out firing on all cylinders, as Colton Klein led the offense down the field for touchdowns on their first two drives, connecting with Billy Dury and Jovone Stricker for scores. After the Big Blue (3-3, 2-3 CCIW) got on the board and made it 14-7, Carthage found the end zone once more, with Jalen Dennis scoring on a pass from Klein.
With seconds remaining in the first quarter, Carthage would block a punt in the home team’s own end zone, as Jacob Boucher pounced on it to make it 28-7.
After a Millikin touchdown in the second quarter, the Red Men marched right back down the field, as Dennis scored for the second time, this time on an end-around rush. Carthage would enter the locker room with a 35-21 halftime lead.
Scoring on their opening drive of the second half, Millikin would later tie the game at 35 with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Following a fourth-down stop by the Carthage defense, the Red Men broke the tie early in the fourth period as Dana Fontenot rushed in for the touchdown.
The home team quickly responded for yet another tie, this time at 43, giving the Carthage offense possession with just over nine minutes remaining. On fourth and 16, David Collins found Kevin O’Boyle for 36 yards on a pass up the middle, keeping the drive alive before Klein found Stricker for his fourth passing touchdown of the game.
Once more, the home team answered back and drew the game even. Following a quick defensive stop by the Red Men, Carthage was given the ball with 58 seconds remaining in regulation.
Klein would guide the team down the field on a flurry of completions, getting all the way to the Millikin 29-yard line with just two seconds left. Setting up 46 yards out from the posts, Collins would hit the game-winning field goal as time expired, giving Carthage their third conference win of the season.
The Red Men will head back out on the road next weekend and travel to North Central for a noon kickoff on Saturday, October 26.
“This was a great team win; on the road at night when a lot of things went against us. I’m very proud of the fight the guys showed, they didn’t back down one time. We had a great performance from our offense, especially up front. The offensive line was phenomenal all night.”
“Colton Klein and Jovone Stricker were lights out all game but Dana Fontenot made some huge plays down the stretch for us to extend drives. Coach Padhye made a gutsy call with the punt fake on 4th and 16 and it was executed perfectly by the punt team. Obviously, a huge kick by David. He had one blocked and then missed one earlier in the game, so that shows his mental toughness to come in and nail the game winner.”
Colton Klein had a career day, setting personal bests in completions (41), passing yards (431), touchdowns (4) and pass attempts (60).
Klein’s 431 passing yards are the most in a single game for Carthage in just under 10 years, when Evan Jones threw for 467 on November 7, 2009.
Jovone Stricker recorded his third-straight game with at least 10 catches, 100 yards and a score, and has 37 receptions, 461 yards and four touchdowns during that span.
The senior receiver now joins Nick Merchutand Jeff Koeneman as the only student-athletes in program history with multiple games of 150 receiving yards or more.
Jalen Dennis had a career-high 84 receiving yards, adding both a rushing and receiving touchdown.