CHICAGO HEIGHTS – Joliet Catholic scored 46 points in the first half as it routed Marian Catholic, 53-9, Friday in East Suburban Catholic Conference action.
The Hilltoppers (6-0, 4-0) host defending 6A champion Nazareth on Friday in a game that could decide the ESCC title.
“It’s a game everyone has been looking forward to ever since the schedule came out,” JCA coach Dan Sharp said. “They’re an outstanding football team. They are the best group of athletes we will face all year.”
The Hilltoppers took care of business against the Spartans early. JCA led Marian (1-5, 0-4), 14-0, after the first quarter before scoring 32 points in the second quarter for a 46-6 halftime lead.
Sophomore running back Ke’Von Johnson got the first two touchdowns. He scored on a 2-yard run and caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cade Earl to cap a 97-yard scoring drive. Johnson collected 81 yards rushing in the first half.
“I came out here focused and ready to go,” Johnson said. “The older guys got me ready, and we did what we had to do to get the win.”
Johnson is playing the position because senior
running back Harry Davis broke his ankle earlier this season.
“They’ve made it really easy for me,” Johnson said. “All of the seniors help
me out a lot. They made the transition to being a starter an easy one. I love running behind those guys on the line. I give all the credit to them.”
Senior Michael Johnson also scored two touchdowns against the Spartans. One came on a 3-yard run, and another on a 69-yard burst. He finished with 134 yards rushing after playing only the first half.
Senior defensive tackle Ken Aguirre even got in on the scoring act by blocking a punt and recovering it in the end zone for a touchdown in the second quarter.
“We weren’t supposed to block a punt, but I was doing my job and I was able to get through,” Aguirre said. “It felt pretty good to get my first touchdown.”
Earl finished with 104 yards passing and backup quarterback Patrick Roth played in the first half and threw for 30 yards and one touchdown, a 7-yard screen pass to fullback Josh Parenti. Running back Alex McInerney also scored a touchdown in the second half.
“It was a great win, but there are a couple of things we have to clean up,” Sharp said. “We had some turnovers [two fumbles] in the first half that were uncharacteristic of us, but overall, I liked what we did. We ran our hurry-up offense, our no huddle, with Cade running it. I thought the passing game was well executed, and I thought our fullback ran really well. I thought we played well defensively, and we got a blocked punt on special teams.”
The Hilltoppers rushed for 236 yards in the first half and threw for 134 yards while holding the Spartans to 43 yards in the first half.