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Carthage pounds Philly

By By Jim Luke/special to The Star
September 28, 2002
PHILADELPHIA The Carthage Tigers pounded away with the ball on the ground here Friday night and played a hard-nosed defensive game to upset the Philadelphia Tornadoes 36-11 in Division 5-3A football.
The first drive of the night gave a good indication as to what Tiger coach Pete Lucovich wanted to do with his team as the visiting Tigers drove the ball from their own 24 to the Philadelphia 31 before giving up the ball on downs.
The Tornadoes responded by driving all the way to the Carthage 14 before John Fortenberry intercepted an option pitch and returned the ball 86 yards for an apparent touchdown. A block in the back on the return negated most of what Fortenberry did, but the Tigers were in business at their own 42.
Carthage drove the ball the 58 yards on seven running plays with Ricardo Smith picking up the final yard on a one-yard plunge for a touchdown with 3:19 left in the first quarter. The Tigers faked the point after kick and Daniel Holleyman hit Fortenberry in the end zone for the two-point conversion to give the Tigers an 8-0 lead.
Philadelphia responded with a drive to the Carthage three-yard line following a 37-yard kickoff return by Daniel Puckett to put the ball at the Carthage 23. On fourth and three, Tyler Threadgill hit a 20-yard field goal to make the score 8-3 with 49 seconds left in the first quarter.
Carthage came right back with an 80-yard drive that ended on a 20-yard run by Smith for a touchdown with 6:58 left in the second quarter. Shawn Tangle hit Fortenberry with the two-point conversion pass to put the Tigers ahead 16-3.
Philadelphia would manage only one play on the next possession as Kevin Hatch recovered a fumble at the Philadelphia 14. Three plays later Tangle found Fortenberry in the end zone again, this time for the touchdown, on a 14-yard play. Smith ran for the two-point conversion to give the Tigers a 24-3 advantage with 5:53 left in the first half.
The Tornadoes came right back with a 62-yard drive that ended on a six-yard run by Chris McCurty for a touchdown with 2:11 to play in the second quarter. Puckett carried the ball in for the two-point conversion to make the score 24-11.
Neither team could gain an advantage over the other's defense in the third quarter, but Carthage put together a drive that saw Jerry Triplett score on a one-yard plunge with 9:46 left in the game. The two-point conversion pass failed and the score stood at 30-11.
The Tornadoes turned the ball over again as Demar Gardner blitzed on a fourth down play, forced a fumble and recovered the ball at the Philly 30-yard line. Carthage pounded away on the ground to drive the 30 yards in seven plays with Henry Towner scoring the final points of the game with 4:53 left in the contest.
Smith led all rushers in the game for the Tigers with 114 yards while Triplett added 99. The Tigers had a total of 296 yards on the ground in the game.
Philadelphia was led in the rushing department by McCurty with 96 yards as the Tornadoes had 227 yards rushing in the contest.
Carthage moves to 2-0 in the division as they get ready to host Heidelberg Friday for the Tigers' homecoming.
Philadelphia, 4-1 overall and 1-1 in division play, will travel to West Lauderdale Friday night in a key division matchup.