Football: Joliet Catholic blanks Benet 36-0
By Patrick Z. McGavin For Sun-Times Media October 25, 2013 11:26PM
Joliet Catholic running back Michael Ivlow (30) sheds two Benet tacklers on his way to a long gain. | Jon Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 26, 2013 4:25PM
The clash of Joliet Catholic and Benet promised an electrifying showdown contrasting the running game of the Hilltoppers against the Redwings’ big-play passing attack.
Joliet Catholic dominated every number that counted. Benet never had a chance.
The Hilltoppers used the dominant running of Mike Ivlow and Mike Borga, an aggressive defense and opportunistic special teams to hammer the Redwings 36-0 for the undisputed East Suburban Catholic title Friday night at Benedictine University in Lisle.
Despite playing a little more than a half, Ivlow put an exclamation point on his remarkable season, scoring three touchdowns and gaining 141 yards on 25 carries to surpass the 2,000-yard figure for the season. Ivlow has rushed for 2,041 yards through nine games.
“Benet’s got a great defense and they didn’t give up the big play, but we got those five yards at a time and that just let us chew up the clock,” Ivlow said. “We have five excellent running backs, and a line we call the big behemoths and they just opened the holes.”
Defensively the Hilltoppers (8-1, 5-1) turned in a performance of the season by recording six turnovers and limiting the high-scoring Benet offense that averaged 30 points coming into the game to under 100 yards of total offense.
“Our kids came out and just executed,” Joliet Catholic coach Dan Sharp said. “That’s a heck of an offense to shut down.”
Benet quarterback Jack Beneventi completed 16-of-24 passes. Joliet Catholic limited the yards after catch and held the Redwings to just 80 yards passing.
Defensive lineman Xavier Hernandez keyed the aggressive attack, registering three sacks as Joliet Catholic held Benet to just three yards rushing on 14 attempts. Brandon Bolek recorded two of the Hilltoppers’ three interceptions. Danny Weis had the other pick.
Joliet Catholic also dominated the special teams. Kicker Brian Bravo twice converted 22-yard field goals in the first half. Defensive back Jackson Shanklin blocked a punt that produced a safety.
Ivlow did the rest. On the first touchdown drive, he carried the ball six times for 47 yards. His 30-yard burst was his longest run of the night and set up his 11-yard TD run as Joliet Catholic led 15-0 at halftime.
Ivlow’s TD runs of 20 and 11 yards in the third quarter put the game out of reach. Benet (6-3, 3-3) fumbled twice on kickoff returns. The second fumble set up Ivlow’s second touchdown run.
With Ivlow resting midway through the third quarter, Borga took control. He gained 111 yards on 20 carries. His 2-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run was set up by Nick Voss’ 48-yard burst.