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KENOSHA - Carthage College raced out to a 17-0 first quarter lead and continued pulling away, defeating the Lakeland College football team 49-9 Saturday night at Art Keller Field.
The Muskies were held to 62 yards total offense, including 15 yards on 36 rushes on the ground. Lakeland also committed five turnovers and had a punt blocked in dropping to 0-3 overall on the season as it heads into Northern Athletics Conference play next week against Wisconsin Lutheran College.
Lakeland finished 0-for-13 in the game on third downs, and the result was excellent field position throughout the night for the Red Men (2-1 overall). Carthage drives started with an average field position near midfield, and all five of its first half scoring drives were less than two minutes in length.
Carthage scored on a four-yard touchdown run by Shane Covington on its second drive of the game and took advantage of a Lakeland interception for a field goal by Brett Bukari, one of his four field goals on the night. The Red Men also got a 40-yard touchdown run by Reggie Miller late in the quarter in building a 17-0 margin.
Dylan Van Straten (Jr.-Shiocton, Wis.) scored on a three-yard run to get Lakeland within 17-7 with 5:27 left in the second quarter, but Carthage got a long kickoff return from Miller into Muskie territory and Bukari made his second field goal to make it 20-7.
The backbreaker came at the end of the first half as Carthage tacked on one more touchdown. Norman Grinstead (Fr.-Taylor, Mich.) returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards to midfield, but Lakeland was only able to gain one yard and had to punt. Aaron Morris then returned the William Yelverton (Fr.-Oconomowoc, Wis.) punt 28 yards to the Carthage 38, and the Red Men went 62 yards in seven plays and just 1:43, scoring with 1:08 left in the half on a six-yard touchdown pass by A.J. Simoncelli to Pete Djurickovic.
Little went right in the second half for the Muskies. Lakeland's first three drives ended in two fumbles and a blocked punt through the end zone for a safety, and within five minutes of the third quarter Carthage had extended its lead to 39-7. The Muskies would add another fumble and an interception in the fourth quarter and finished with just 15 yards of offense in the second half.
Van Straten completed eight of 21 passes for 47 yards and rushed nine times for 22 yards to lead the Lakeland offense. Steven Lewis (Fr.-Detroit, Mich.) caught three of Van Straten's passes for 17 yards to lead the receivers.
Evan Dieringer (Sr.-Germantown, Wis.) made eight tackles to lead the defense. Yaphay Harvey (So.-Milwaukee, Wis.) added six tackles and an interception, while Yelverton averaged 39.6 yards on eight punts, including a 60-yarder.
Simoncelli completed 16 of 31 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown and also rushed six times for 62 yards for Carthage. The Red Men gained 353 yards of offense, including 201 yards on the ground on 38 rushing attempts (5.3 yards per attempt).
Lakeland next will face Wisconsin Lutheran on Saturday in its NAC opener in Milwaukee at 1 p.m.