Illinois Wesleyan junior T.J. Stinde, left, carries the ball as Carthage seniors Alex Vitkauskas, bottom right, and Tyler O'Brien, top right, attempt to tackle him during Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, Homecoming game at Tucci Stadium in Bloomington. (WJBC/Bea Corbin)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - Illinois Wesleyan's seniors paid tribute to a fallen teammate before their homecoming game against Carthage, then put on a performance that would have made him proud.
The Titan defense stympied Carthage's ground attack and took advantage of three lost fumbles by the Redmen to cruise to a 45-7 homecoming win at Tucci Stadium on Saturday.
The Titan senior's paid tribute to Andrew Weishar, a former teammate who died of colorectal cancer on Friday by carrying his no. 54 jersey onto the field before their game and dedicated the 2012 season to him. Weishar was a defensive lineman and many of Titans current defensive lineman who were his closest friends set the tone for the game by limiting the Redmen to 84 rushing yards on 48 attempts.
Rob Gallik conected with Alex Garvey on a 49-yard slant for a touchdown early in the second quarter to give the Titans a 17-0 lead. Tyrell Bolden ran back a punt 77 yards late in the first half to set up a 3-yard run by Sean Conley to stretch the lead to 24-0.
The Titans defense capitalized on a bobbled exchange by quarterback A.J. Simoncelli as Mike Kraft scooped up a fumble and raced 22 yards for a touchdown.
Bolden later padded the Titans lead to 45-0 on a 71-yard rush.
Gallick threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
T.J. Stinde rushed for 53 yards on 15 carries.
The No. 14 Titans (6-0, 3-0 in the CCIW) will visit No. 20 Wheaton next Saturday night.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.