Breaking It Down: No, it’s not true that the game ball went to the last man standing. Rather, it went to the littlest man—Chad Weaver. His do-it-all performance powered Providence Catholic to a 40-34 football victory over Joliet Catholic Academy Friday night on the Celtics' new synthetic turf field in New Lenox. An overflow crowd and ESPNU television audience watched the neighborhood rivals slug it out from start-to-finish in a battle of attrition.
JCA senior running back Ty Isaac, a USC recruit, was the first to go down. He exited with a shoulder injury at the 2:37 mark of the first quarter. Later, Providence’s Brandon Price was sidelined with an ankle injury, but not before he made his presence known, too. Price ripped off a 77-yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage.
Weaver stepped up in his absence. He was a whiz wide receiver, a darting running back and a lightning bolt kick returner. And he scored on a razzle-dazzle play to put the Celtics up 30-20 at halftime. Dominic Lagone threw a backward pass to Cody Kirby. Then, Kirby fired a strike to Weaver, who was wide open downfield. The 30-yard touchdown came two plays after Providence’s Zachary Tortorello recovered a fumble to give the Celtics possession on JCA’s 35.
Patch’s MVP: Chad Weaver, Providence, senior, wide receiver/running back/kick returner. Weaver, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior, caught five passes for 57 yards. He rushed seven times for 84 yards. He returned one kickoff to the Providence 47, and he had the presence of mind to dive on a loose ball after a short kick by JCA a bit earlier.
JCA Stat Pack: Isaac rushed for 66 yards on seven carries. He scored one touchdown—on a 43-yard run—and had another called back by a holding penalty. On the next play, he rushed for 7 yards and then pulled himself from the game, pointing to his shoulder as he reached the JCA sideline. He was sent for X-rays at halftime and did not return. Tyler Reitz (13 carries, 98 yards), Michael Ivlow (8 carries, 32 yards), Craig Slowik (13-of-23 passing, 214 yards, 1 TD), Chris Tschida (4 catches, 61 yards, 1 TD).
Providence Stat Pack: Brandon Price (17 rushes, 149 yards, 2 TDs), Chad Weaver (5 catches, 57 yards, 1 TD; 7 rushes 84 yards), Dominic Lagone (8-of-12 passing, 135 yards), Cody Kirby (1-of-1 passing, 30 yards, 1 TD), Myles Boykin (1 catch, 43 yards, 1 TD), Austin Regan (2 field goals; 28 and 40 yards).
Quotable I: “It was definitely a heavyweight fight—back-and-forth,” Providence coach Mark Coglianese said. “It’s unfortunate the injuries we had on both sides. Obviously, Isaac hurt them and us losing Price and then Boykin (ankle). That takes a lot of our weapons away as well. But that's where depth comes in.”
Quotable II: “Everyone under-judged us,” Providence senior Chad Weaver said. “Everyone thought JCA was going to take it. But Isaac can’t be just one player and win the game. You’ve got to have a team. And that’s what we were tonight—a team.”
Quotable III: “Slowik is a tough kid, a strong kid and throws the ball very well,” Joliet Catholic Academy coach Dan Sharp said. “We have some guys that can catch it. If you would have told me that Ty Isaac was going to be out in the first quarter and we’d scored 34 points, I think everybody would laugh. But that’s the resiliency of our team and how those guys believe. I just wish we could have had one more stop in there, that’s all.”
Team Records: Providence is 1-0. JCA is 0-1.
What’s Next: JCA plays host to Robeson at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, at Memorial Stadium. Minooka is at Providence on Friday, Aug. 31. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Scores of Interest: Lincoln-Way East 31, Carmel 6; Lincoln-Way Central 28, Lincoln-Way North 27 (OT); Sandburg 30, Andrew 23. For more scores, go to IHSA ScoreZone.