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Football: Joliet Catholic rallies to beat Marist 49-27

Joliet Catholic quarterback Nick Morrisruns for 9-yard touchdown first quarter Friday's game against Marist Joliet Memorial Stadium. | Jeff Krage/For

Joliet Catholic quarterback Nick Morrison runs for a 9-yard touchdown in the first quarter of Friday's game against Marist at Joliet Memorial Stadium. | Jeff Krage/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 30, 2013 6:30AM



Everything was going Marist’s way in Friday night’s East Suburban Catholic showdown against Joliet Catholic at Joliet Memorial Stadium.

The RedHawks had a 13-0 lead before the Hilltoppers had their hands on the ball, thanks to a successful onside kick after the first touchdown.

But Marist’s third possession ended when Joliet Catholic cornerback Brendan O’Brien intercepted Jack Donegan’s pass along the sideline and returned it 15 yards to the RedHawks’ 42.

The play seemed to ignite the unbeaten Hilltoppers on both sides of the ball. They drove to a touchdown, battled their way to a 21-all halftime tie and owned the second half of a 49-27 victory.

“My coaches wanted me to get into my zone and I got there,” O’Brien said of his interception. “The credit goes to them.”

The pick was the first of three thrown by Donegan, who completed 25-of-45 passes for 301 yards. Jackson Shanklin and Brad Krish had interceptions in the second half, and Krisch also forced a fumble that teammate Chase Krumviede recovered.

“The way our defense played from the second quarter on was remarkable,” Joliet Catholic coach Dan Sharp said. “They held them to 21 points because we gave them a touchdown on a botched punt snap (in the fourth quarter).”

After Joliet Catholic (5-0, 3-0) got to within 13-7, Flynn Nagel, who caught eight passes for 147 yards, flipped on the jets for Marist (3-2, 2-1) to turn a screen pass into an 80-yard touchdown and restore a two-touchdown lead at 21-7.

However, the Hilltoppers’ offense, led by Mike Ivlow, was just getting warmed up. Ivlow finished with 265 yards on 33 carries and scored three touchdowns. He also lost 64 yards of a 73-yard run when the play was called back for a disputed holding call.

Quarterback Nick Morrison scored twice and threw for another TD, a 10-yarder to Zach Rezin, who saw his first action since Week 2.

Morris, guard JB Butler and center Nick Chavez left in the second half with ankle injuries.

Joliet Catholic scored on its first two possessions of the third quarter, the second set up by Krisch’s forced fumble. Shanklin’s interception put the Hilltoppers up 42-21.

Marist’s gift touchdown accounted for the final score.

The Hilltoppers finished with a 410-382 edge in total yards.

Joliet Catholic came in averaging 508 yards per game, and Marist coach Pat Dunne figured the best idea was to play keepaway. The RedHawks used the onside kick on all five opportunities, recovering two.

“That was our game plan,” Dunne said. “I’m proud of how the guys executed it. I can’t wait to watch the film on that third one (after Marist took a 21-7 lead).”

“All those onside kicks were scary,” Ivlow said.

“We wanted to create more opportunities,” Dunne said. “Joliet Catholic is a great team. Their offense and defense did a great job.

“You can’t have big mistakes against them, and we had turnovers and penalties (nine for 90 yards). But we’ll correct that. I’m proud of our guys’ effort.”

Marist’s Nic Weishar caught seven passes for 82 yards and Peter Andreotti rushed 19 times for 73 yards and caught seven passes for 40.



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