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Football Notebook: Shorewood's Isaac Ignites JCA

Ty Isaac set the school's single-season touchdown record with 41 as Joliet Catholic Academy gets ready for Saturday's Class 5A state semifinal against Springfield's Sacred Heart-Griffin.

Standing at midfield, Joliet Catholic Academy’s Ty Isaac talked about the offensive line, Washington’s quarterback, reaching the semifinals, even the gorgeous Saturday afternoon weather.

Anything but himself.

That left JCA coach Dan Sharp and Northwestern-bound senior wingback Malin Jones to praise the junior wingback and native after Isaac set the single-season school touchdown record with 41. J.R. Zwierzynski, who went on to play for Penn State, previously held the TD record with 39 in 2001.

“It’s great to have a chance to coach a player the caliber of J.R. and all the things he did and now it’s great to have a player as exceptional as Ty,” Sharp said. “The great thing about Joliet Catholic is, if you’re a player who wants to be a running back — this is a great place to be a running back. Just look at Ty.”

“It’s crazy,” said Jones, who had just rushed for 134 yards on nine carries and scored three touchdowns. “When he’s a polished senior, he’s going to be amazing, probably one of the most highly recruited players to ever come out of Joliet Catholic, which really says a lot. Congrats to him. He deserves it.”

Those accolades continued to roll in for Isaac after a 56-7 win in the Class 5A state football quarterfinals.

He ranks seventh on the school’s single-season rushing list with 1,900 yards on 159 carries. Next up is former NFL Pro Bowl fullback Mike Alstott, who ran for 2,026 yards on 264 carries in 1991. Isaac also ranks sixth on the JCA career chart with 3,086, right behind James Randle (3,136 yards, 1995-96).

Still ahead of Isaac in single-season rushing is Zwierzynski, who had 2,073 yards on 261 carries in 2000 and 2,340 yards on 270 carries in 2001. Zwierzynski also holds the career mark with 5,070 yards.

“I don’t know too much about him, but I know (offensive assistant) coach (Jake) Jaworski played with him and he talks about him a lot,” Isaac said. “It’s an honor to be mentioned with a player like J.R.”

“Our running backs are involved in all facets of the game, rushing, receiving and blocking, and Ty does that,” Sharp noted. “I’ve always said running backs here have to be a triple threat like Walter Payton. We’re going to run the ball and we’re going to run it well, and hopefully, Ty can score some more TDs.”

NOTES: Malin Jones is tied for 20th on the single-season rushing list — with himself. He had 1,284 yards on 199 carries last year and has 1,284 yards on 150 carries this year … Junior quarterback Craig Slowik (Shorewood) moved past Jonathan Voss into 13th place with 1,172 yards on 46-of-92 passing. Voss threw for 1,165 yards and 4 TDs on 102-of-172 accuracy in 1986. Slowik has thrown for 11 TDs … Did you know? Isaac leads the Hillmen in receiving as well with 16 catches for 360 yards and 7 TDs. He also has scored on kickoff and punt returns … Uncannily good was JCA’s offense against Washington with 338 yards rushing, 99 passing and 437 overall. The Hillmen are averaging 336.3, 99.1 and 435.4, respectively.

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