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Green Knights Force Six Turnovers to Rout Carthage

From Sports Information Director, September 5, 2015 | Football
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College forced six Carthage College turnovers as the Green Knights opened the Dan McCarty coaching era with a victory, registering a 35-6 win in a non-conference game at a sultry Schneider Stadium.

The Green Knights intercepted four passes - matching their entire total from the 2014 season - and recovered two fumbles. The St. Norbert offense did not turn the ball over to give it a robust plus-six in turnover margin.

St. Norbert took the opening kickoff and needed just eight plays to march 65 yards for a touchdown. Jack Becker, making his first start at quarterback, found Brad Boockmeier in the left flat, and the All-American decathlete went 30 yards for a touchdown just 4 minutes 11 seconds into the game.

Carthage's first two possessions ended on an interception by Frank Laterza and lost fumble when a snap on a field-goal attempt went awry. St. Norbert forced a punt on Carthage's third possession, but took over at its own 6-yard line.

Boockmeier had a hard 10-yard run on third-and-6 from the St. Norbert 10 to extend the drive. The Green Knights maneuvered out to their own 43 and faced a fourth-and-1 situation, and Becker hit Brett Olson on a pass that ruptured into a 57-yard touchdown with 8:45 left in the second quarter for a 13-0 lead.

St. Norbert got a quick stop and needed three plays to push its lead out to 20-0. Elijah Fort converted a third-and-1 situation and got much more, breaking loose on a run up the middle for a 66-yard touchdown. The Green Knights carried their 20-0 lead into halftime.

The Green Knights forced a Carthage fumble on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, which led to a 34-yard field goal by Spenser Thompson-Meyers. Carthage responded with its only score of the afternoon, fashioning an 11-play, 81-yard drive capped by a Tristan Peterson 3-yard run with 6:43 left in the third quarter.

St. Norbert didn't score on its next possession, but stopped Carthage when Ryan Grandlic corralled an interception and returned it to the Carthage 3. Becker scored three plays later on a 1-yard scamper for a 29-6 edge with 40 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Green Knights closed out the scoring when Laterza intercepted his second pass of the game and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown for a 35-6 lead with 12:48 remaining.

Carthage outgained St. Norbert 386-356 in total offense, but the Red Men gained 132 yards of that total in the fourth quarter. Becker completed 15 of 19 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Fort had 79 yards on eight carries, while Boockmeier added 40 yards on nine carries. Marty Franzkowiak had a team-high six receptions for 21 yards.

Peterson led Carthage with 66 yards rushing on 11 carries. Three different Carthage quarterbacks all finished with 82 yards apiece, collectively completing 23 of 46 passes for 246 yards. James Cobbs III caught seven passes for 82 yards.

Defensively, R.J. Callow had a game-high 10 tackles for St. Norbert, while Tyler Jensen added eight stops.