I said before the season started that the Joliet Catholic Academy Hilltoppers (1-0, 0-0) would continue their winning ways because they are THAT kind of a program and true to those words, they opened the season by winning a wild 42-35 game over the New Lenox Providence Catholic Celtics (0-1, 0-0). And what a wild game it was as both these two area heavyweights stood toe-to-toe for nearly 15 championship rounds.
But as they say, if want to win the belt you gotta knock the champ out. And that is something the Celtics couldn't do. And that was in large part due to the kid I said would be tough enough to take over as the team's running back. But even I have to admit that not only did the kid do it, but he did it in an complete and dominating manner. So it doesn't surprise me that Michael Ivlow has Joliet Catholic fans asking Ty who?
And that's no easy trick because Ty Issac was something very, very special for Joliet Catholic. But don't worry Ty you won't really be forgotten all that soon, unless of course Michael "Speedy Gonzalez" Ivlow and his supporting cast are able to win a State Championship barely a year after your departure for the California Sun.
As for the game itself. JCA and Providence combined for nearly 1,000 total offensive yards (JCA 505 & PC 470) and fans of either team can walk away from this one knowing that their players are more than ready to do battle this year. Sure I have already heard the naysayers questioning where the defense was - but that is not how these two ever intended to play this game as each was trying to make a statement here. So I would not worry about either team's defense, it will be there when it needs to be there.
The star of this game, though, had to be Michael Ivlow. Not only did he finish with 310 Yards Rushing on 17 carries (an 18 yard average) but he scored 4 TD's on runs of 32, 60, 67 and 80 yards while battling leg cramps. The 80 yarder was something special too as he not only busted two tackles but did it on the first play from scrimmage. What a way for the Hilltoppers to enter the End Zone for its first points of the season!
But the Celtics weren't going to go away either as they managed to tie this game on three separate occasions at 21, 28 and 35. Only good teams do that! And they even had a chance to tie it near the end had it not been for coming up inches short on a 4th and 6 with a minute or so to go. And as I said earlier, don't worry - the defense will show up when you need it most. And it did for the Hilltoppers.
While Michael Ivlow was THE star of this game, one can't soon forget that there were plenty of other stars on that field too. First and foremost, the entire JCA Offensive Line gets kudos for what they did all night long to open those holes for Ivlow. But there was JCA QB Nick Morrison too even though he only completed 2/4 Passes for 70 yards - they were huge as both went to TE Jordan Jones who scored a 43 Yd TD to make it 14-0 and then caught a clutch 27 Yd pass to give the team a huge 1st Down to setup Ivlow for his 4th score just one play later. That play broke a 28-28 tie.
Think that wasn't big? Sure was as they needed every one of those tough yards to repel what Providence Catholic threw at them. And throw they did as Providence QB Justin Hunniford went 29/38 - 340 Yds, 2 TDs, RB Dominic Lagone picked-up 114 Yds Rushing & 9 Passes for 53 Yds, WR Luc Quaranta 9 Passes for 101 Yds and WR Miles Boykin 6 Passes for 141 Yds. So the Celtics definitely have some offensive firepower this year.
They say Football is a game of inches and this night it literally was as JCA were able to hang on in a wild wide-open contest.
Mark my words, both of these teams will make plenty of noise this season. And I am sure we will hear some noise as the Providence Catholic Celtics (0-1, 0-0) go on the road to play the Minooka Indians (1-0, 0-0) next and as Joliet Catholic Academy (1-0, 0-0) takes a real road trip to face the St. Thomas Academy Cadets (1-0, 1-0) in Mendota Heights, Minnesota on Saturday Afternoon. The Cadets opened their season with a 37-7 Conference Win versus the Simley High School Spartans (0-1, 0-1).
As for Michael Ivlow? Well, he can walk tall now.
He has earned being JCA's Newest Power RB!
Game Highlight Video* of JCA Providence Game by Brian Jones
* If you would like to purchase a Game DVD or are interested in having Professional Recruiting Videos made of your Athlete please contact:
Brian Jones Photo and Video Productions for all your film and recruiting needs - 815.483.0341
Tags: Brian Jones Photo and Video Productions, Dominic Lagone, Football, former JCA RB Ty Issac, Game Highlight Video, High School Football, High School Sports, JCA, JCA Beats Providence Catholic in 2013 Season Opener, JCA Hilltoppers, JCA QB Nick Morrison, JCA RB Michael Ivlow, JCA RB Michael Ivlow Scores 4 TDs, JCA TE Jordan Jones, JCA Wins 42-35, Joliet Catholic Academy, Joliet Catholic Academy Hilltoppers, Jordan Jones, Justin Hunniford, Luc Quaranta, Michael "Speedy Gonzales" Ivlow, Michael Ivlow, Miles Boykin, Minooka Indians, New Lenox Providence Catholic, Nick Morrison, Prep Football, Providence Catholic Celtics, Providence QB Justin Hunniford, RB Dominic Lagone, Simley High School Spartans, Sports, St. Thomas Academy Cadets, The Rivieras California Sun Music Video, Ty Issac, WR Luc Quaranta, WR Miles Boykin