Breaking It Down: Michael Ivlow watched his father’s team drop an emotional decision in an IHSA football playoff game on Friday night. He was determined not to let the family suffer through an 0-for-2 weekend.
Ivlow showed his determination by rushing for 103 yards on 12 carries and scoring the final touchdown in Joliet Catholic Academy’s 42-21 victory over Tinley Park on Saturday afternoon in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs at Joliet’s Memorial Stadium.
His performance followed on the heels of Bolingbrook’s 44-33 loss to Neuqua Valley in a Class 8A thriller on Friday night. Bolingbrook is coached by his father John. Michael was one of two backs to eclipse the 100-yard rushing barrier as JCA showed off all of its weapons for the first team since the season-opener.
Ty Isaac, hampered by shoulder and groin injuries for much of the regular season, topped all rushers with 150 yards on 16 carries. He scored three touchdowns. Tinley Park was led by dual-threat quarterback Christian Plumber. He completed 13-of-20 passes for 167 yards. He also ran for two touchdowns.
Patch’s MVP: Michael Ivlow, 5-11, 215, junior, fullback, Joliet Catholic Academy. Ivlow rushed for 103 yards on 12 carries. He capped the scoring for JCA on a 2-yard run with 11:22 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Tinley Park Stat Pack: Christian Plumber (13-for-20 passing, 167 yards; 34 yards rushing, 2 TDs), Preston Thompson (13 carries, 45 yards), Jamar Washington (4 catches, 25 yards), Reynaldo Labampa (3 catches, 25 yards; 8 rushes, 28 yards), Corey Doss (64-yard fumble return for a touchdown).
JCA Stat Pack: Ty Isaac (16 carries, 150 yards, 3 TDs), Michael Ivlow (12 carries, 103 yards, 1 TD), Tyler Reitz (12 carries, 65 yards, 2 TDs), Craig Slowik (3-for-8 passing, 89 yards), Chris Tschida (2 catches, 76 yards), Matt Madrigal (13 tackles), Kevin Jensen (10 tackles), Zach Rezin (9 tackles), Ken Aguirre (8 tackles, freshman playing in second varsity game).
Quotable I: “Oh, it’s awesome,” JCA running back Michael Ivlow said of having everybody running at full speed in the Hilltopper backfield. “This is our second game we’ve had everybody healthy. The first drive of the Providence game—that’s when everybody was healthy in our backfield. Now, it’s Week 2 in the playoffs. So, we’ve only played two games together all healthy.
“We’re going to state and we’re going to win it all this year. You have the best player in the nation, which is Ty Isaac, and Tyler Reitz is the best running back in the state. I’m picking up the slack behind those two guys, and they help me out tremendously.”
Quotable II: “I want to run like Joey Rhattigan, the Neuqua Valley running back,” JCA’s Michael Ivlow said after watching Rhattigan torch Bolingbrook for 345 yards and five touchdowns as the Wildcats scored twice in the final 3:30 to pull out the victory. “That guy was a horse. I hope to be that guy next year. But (my dad) told me today, ‘Don’t let the Ivlow family down.’ He’s already lost, but he’ll be back next year. He might he be here next year. You never know.”
Quotable III: “This if the first game that we were really able to feature all three of them throughout the game,” JCA coach Dan Sharp said of his backs. “Last week, they each had seven carries. But, today, it was a little more on them, and we hit a couple big plays in the passing game as well. So, yeah, we’re starting to get more into that double-wing, three-back offense that we like.”
Quotable IV: “It’s like having a Ferrari in the garage and you can’t drive it,” JCA coach Dan Sharp said of the waiting game he’s played during the rehab process for his injured backs. “We’ve finally got the keys, and we can drive it now.”
Quotable V: “I’m so darn proud of our kids and our coaches for the way they battled,” Tinley Park coach Nick Johnston said. “That no-die attitude. We never quit, and that’s what we tried to bring to every play. Sometimes it worked. And sometimes they made some great plays. So, you’ve got to give credit to Joliet Catholic for making plays when it counted.”
Team Records: Joliet Catholic Academy is 7-4. Tinley Park finishes 6-5.
What’s Next: JCA faces Lincoln-Way West on Nov. 9 or 10 in Round 3 of the Class 5A playoffs. Lincoln-Way West defeated Kaneland 31-15.
Scores of Interest: Montini 24, Sycamore 22; Sacred Heart-Griffin 37, Jacksonville 36 (OT). For more football playoff scores, go to IHSA ScoreZone.