By Rob Tetro
Carthage came away with an impressive win over the Fulton varsity football team Oct. 18 by a score of 58-20.
Carthage wasted little time exploiting the size and speed advantages they had over Fulton. They quickly built a 19-0 lead during the first quarter. Carthage extended its lead to 37-0 during the second quarter.
Prior to the game, seven seniors were honored for their contributions to the Fulton football program. The Fulton Seniors who were playing in their final home game were Connor Aldasch, Mark Pollock, Seth DeLisle, Solano Sanchez, Seth Britton, James Bailey and Liam Roberge.
Carthage received the opening kickoff to start the game and made quick work of their opening drive.
Rodrick Groce ran for a 31-yard touchdown to give Carthage a 6-0 lead with 10:56 left in the first quarter. After the Red Raiders went 3 and out in its first drive of the game, Carthage struck again.
On the first play of their second drive, quarterback Bailey Wilkinson tossed a 66-yard touchdown pass to Josh Yelvington to give Carthage a 13-0 lead with 9:01 left in the first quarter.
Fulton had opportunities to keep the game close. Dallas Bradley gave the Red Raiders solid field position following an impressive kickoff return. But Fulton came up empty after being stopped on downs deep in Carthage territory.
Carthage continued its onslaught during its ensuing possession. After a 15-yard screen pass brought Carthage inside the Red Raiders 10-yard line, fullback Trevor Gibbons muscled his way in from 3 yards out to give Carthage a 19-0 lead with 3:39 left in the first quarter.
The Red Raiders had another chance to cut into the deficit late in the first quarter. But again they were stopped on downs deep in Carthage territory.
Things didn’t get any easier for The Red Raiders during the second quarter. Set up by a 40-yard run off of an end-around play, Josh Capers ran for an 8-yard touchdown run. Carthage now had a 25-0 lead with 11:25 left in the second quarter.
During Fulton’s ensuing possession, a big gain on the ground by Mark Pollock was negated by a holding penalty. Carthage took over after the Red Raiders drive stalled a few plays later having missed out on another opportunity to gain some momentum.
Later in the second quarter, Dylan James caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Bailey Wilkinson to give Carthage a 31-0 lead. Just before halftime, Josh Capers took off on another touchdown scamper, running for a 41-yard touchdown to give Carthage a 37-0 halftime lead.
Carthage continued to add to its lead during the second half. Early in the third quarter, they took a 44-0 lead when Tyler Markowski barreled his way in from a yard out.
Fulton was able to finish a few drives down the stretch. Later in the third quarter, the Red Raiders got onto the scoreboard when quarterback Cody Green scored on an option keeper from a yard out to cut Carthage’s lead to 44-7.
But Carthage provided an empathic answer to Fulton’s touchdown. Denzel Dixon returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for the score to extend Carthage’s lead to 51-7.
Fulton was determined to battle until the final whistle blew. Towards the end of the third quarter, running back Mark Pollock ran for a 36-yard touchdown to bring the Red Raiders to within 37 points at 51-14.
The teams went back and forth during the fourth quarter. Carthage took a 58-14 lead when Riley Partin scored on a run from 25 yards out. However, Fulton tacked on another score late in the game.
Green ran for an 11-yard touchdown to cut Carthage’s lead to 58-20, but that’s how the game ended.