Notre Dame upsets Isaac-less Hilltoppers
By Kate Hedlin For Sun-Times Media October 13, 2012 12:30AM
Niles Friday 10/12/12 Notre Dame's #44 Tom Sora and#1 Pat Cravens bring down Joliet Catholic's#30 Michael Ivlow . | Jerry Daliege~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 15, 2012 6:34AM
Behind an outstanding effort by Chris James, Notre Dame got off to a fast start against No. 3 Joliet Catholic and never trailed in a 42-33 home win Friday.
James rushed for 168 yards and had three first-half touchdowns for the Dons (5-3, 3-3), including a scoring run late in the second quarter after the Hilltoppers pulled to within 20-14 while capitalizing on an interception by quarterback Dan Nagode.
With Ty Isaac, Joliet Catholic’s star running back, sidelined by an undisclosed injury, the Hilltoppers could not afford to fall behind early, but they trailed 20-0 in the first quarter after two touchdowns by James and a 60-yard scoring reception by Billy Hirsch.
“We knew they were hurting and that it was important to get off to a good start,” said Notre Dame coach Mike Hennessey, whose team lost its previous two games. “I have to give credit to our offensive coaches for calling a great game.”
“It was our biggest nightmare,” Joliet Catholic coach Dan Sharp said. “We were thin on offense and they took it to our defense.”
James had scoring plays of 35, 37 and seven yards.
Michael Ivlow kept things interesting for Joliet Catholic (5-3, 4-2) with four rushing touchdowns, but after his final score from 10 yards out cut the deficit to 35-27, the Dons took nearly eight minutes off the clock, capped by Nagode’s keeper from the five-yard line, which pushed the lead back to 15.