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By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Joliet Catholic record-breaking second quarter demolishes St. Laurence 49-0

 

Last updated 3/23/2021 at 4:55pm



Three touchdowns in 20 seconds.

Five touchdowns in 3e minutes, 27 seconds.

Leading 7-0 with 3:45 remaining in the second quarter of their 2020-21 season-opener the Joliet Catholic Hilltoppers (1-0) unleashed sheer destruction on the host Vikings of St. Laurence (0-1).

With 3:45 remaining in the second quarter, Joliet Catholic senior defensive end Pat Strocchia recovered a Viking fumble at the St. Laurence 18 yard-line.

On the ensuing play Hilltopper junior quarterback Aidan Voss (3-for-5, 71 yards,TD; 3 rushes, 52 yards) connected with fellow junior Jake Fieldman (three catches, 71 yards,TD) from 18-yards out for a Hilltoppers touchdown. After senior Hilltoppers placekicker Jake Dixon's second PAT Joliet Catholic led 14-0.

With 3:26 remaining on St. Laurence's next play from scrimmage Hilltoppers all-state safety, Jabril Williams picked off St. Laurence senior quarterback Darius Wilson (2-for-8, 21 yards, 2 INT) and raced 40-yards for a pick-6 and a 21-0 Hilltoppers lead.

"I told you at practice that I wanted to get a pick-six," Williams said. "Two picks and I got one pick-six."

On St. Laurence's next play from scrimmage, Strocchia scooped up another Viking fumble and scored from 16-yards out for a 28-0 Hilltoppers lead with 3:20 left in the second quarter, making it three Hilltopper touchdowns in 20 seconds.

With 2:22 remaining, Strochhia picked up his third fumble recovery at the Viking 18 and on the next play, Hilltoppers junior fullback Vinny Iannantone (9 carries, 85 yards, TD) raced untouched into the end zone from 18-yards out for a 35-0 lead.

With 31 seconds left in the amazing second quarter for the Hillttoppers and Strocchia, he picked up his fourth fumble recovery at the Viking 41.

"Our team came out and played great," Strocchia said. "We played to our potential. That was my first touchdown of my Joliet Catholic career. I never had four fumble recoveries in a game. Jabril got us going with the pick-six and it was great to see my friend, Jake Fieldman, have a great game catching the football. We are 1-0. We look forward to going to Fenwick on Sunday."

Voss hit Fieldman for 37 yards down to the Viking four where all-state junior running back Jordan Anderson (14 carries, 121 yards, threee TDs) crashed in from the four for his second touchdown and a 42-0 Hilltoppers lead at the half.

With the 40-point running clock, the second half flew by.

Anderson, with 3:17 left in the third quarter, raced 46-yards for his third touchdown to conclude the scoring. After Dixon's seventh consecutive PAT the Hill led 49-0.

"We started slow but we all played well," Anderson said. "Jabril with the two picks and a pick six and Pat with four fumble recoveries — we were led by our defense. Amazing. That is why we come to The Hill to witness amazing things like we were able to accomplish tonight.

"The addition of our passing duo of Aidan (Voss) to Jake (Fieldman) will really open up our running game even more."

"I'm all out of words for the way we all played tonight," Williams added. "How about our offense running and throwing the ball behind the Hogs. That's my offense."

Anderson put the Hilltoppers up 7-0 with a seven-yard touchdown with 8:42 remaining in the first quarter.

Running behind a new version of Joliet Catholic's offensive line aka "the Hogs" (Junior Lucas Sartori 6-foot-4,

330; Freshman Dillan Johnson 6-foot-2, 260; Junior Josh Jones 6-foot, 300; Senior Jaden Lacy 6-foot-1 260 and junior center Niko Paulino 6-foot-2 280,), the Hilltoppers rushed for 310 yards.

Dixon, who actually missed a 32-yard field goal with 5:32 in the second quarter, was the unsung hero of the game for the Hilltoppers.

St. Laurence's kick-off return burners were negated by six Dixon non-returnable kickoffs out of the end zone.

Senior Ja'Arie Mack chipped in with 50 yards on six carries.

"I told you at practice that this was going to be a fun season for us," Voss said. "We had a lots of fun tonight. We have a brotherhood at Joliet Catholic."

"Aidan and I have a special bond," Fieldman said. "We love each other and connected tonight. This is why I came to Joliet Catholic."

"We were very opportunistic tonight," Joliet Catholic coach Jake Jaworski said. "We really came after them tonight. Credit goes to our new defensive coordinator Zack Dolph. I am proud of our guys, it was a long offseason — good to hear our offense had over 300 yards rushing. Never saw anything like our second quarter."

Up next for the Hilltoppers is a Sunday, March 28 Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference White opener with the Fenwick Friars. The Friars play their home games at Triton College in River Grove. Time to be determined.

 

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