Breaking It Down: When Ty Isaac exited with an injury in the fourth quarter, Joliet Catholic Academy turned to Michael Ivlow and its defense to stave off Lincoln-Way West 21-20 in an overtime thriller in the Class 5A football quarterfinals Saturday in New Lenox.
Ivlow scored on a 1-yard run. Brian Bravo kicked the extra point and JCA led 21-14. Lincoln-Way West’s Javier Montalvo cut the margin to 20-20 on a 10-yard touchdown run. The Warriors elected to go for two points and the win. Justin Keuch was stopped inches short on a quarterback read-option play by JCA’s Zach Rezin and J.B. Butler.
Isaac rushed for 180 yards on 20 carries before he was sidelined with a reoccurring groin injury. He scored on runs of 7 and 92 yards to give JCA a 14-0 halftime lead. Lincoln-Way West tied the score on a pair of touchdown passes by Keuch, one covering 9 yards to Jake Robbins and the other 20 yards to Adam Slattery.
Patch’s MVP: Zach Rezin, junior, tight end/linebacker, Joliet Catholic Academy. He hit Keuch high on Lincoln-Way West’s two-point conversion play and prevented him from reaching the goal line.
Did You Know? The game was delayed 1:21 because of a thunderstorm. Kickoff was pushed back from 1 to 2:21 p.m. A capacity crowd in excess of 3,000 turned out to watch the two sides battle from start to finish.
JCA Stat Pack: Ty Isaac (180 yards, 20 carries, 2 TDs), Tyler Reitz (44 yards, 16 carries), Michael Ivlow (73 yards, 16 carries, 1 TD), Craig Slowik (2-for-4 passing, 19 yards), Chris Tschida (1 catch, 10 yards), Grant Harrison (2 interceptions).
Lincoln-Way West Stat Pack: Javier Montalvo (16 carries, 86 yards), Justin Keuch (11-of-24 passing, 126 yards, 2 TDs), Adam Slattery (7 catches, 107 yards, 1 TD), Jake Robbins (1 catch, 9 yards, 1 TD).
Quotable I: “I was thinking No. 7 was going to get it and run to the outside,” JCA’s Zach Rezin said of Lincoln-Way West possibly giving the ball to Lavonte Blackful on the Warriors’ two-point conversion play. “Then, I saw the quarterback keep it and run up the middle. People were grabbing at his legs. He tried to lunge. I got in there and tried to pull him out. When I grabbed him and I was pulling him back, I knew he was down. But at the bottom of the pile, he was lunging. It’s all about what the ref’s call. I heard someone say they were short. I couldn’t tell. I was at the bottom. I was getting punched—all that stuff.”
Quotable II: “Andrew Gray is one of our best players, and he went down (with an injury),” Lincoln-Way West coach Dave Ernst said. “That team—it starts with the way they lift at Rudy’s Gym. They’re so powerful. And if you get them inside the 10 with one of your best players on the sideline, I didn’t feel like the odds were real. That two-point play we’ve been practicing all year—since the summer—for this situation, in a game like this. And I’ve got to look at the film. I don’t know if we were in or not. But if I had to do it again. I’d do it the same way and I’d call the same play.”
Team Records: Joliet Catholic Academy is 8-4. Lincoln-Way West finishes 8-4.
What’s Next: JCA plays host to Lombard Montini in the Class 5A semifinals on Nov. 16-17. Montini defeated Woodstock Marian Central 42-27.
Scores of Interest: Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 33, Chatham Glenwood 21; Morris 28, Washington 27 (OT). For more IHSA football playoff scores, go to ScoreZone.