Top-ranked Hilltoppers best St.Laurence for Homecoming 2021 victory

Top-ranked Hilltoppers best St.Laurence for Homecoming 2021 victory


In the Covid-abbreviated 2020 Hilltopper’s six-game football season, this spring, 6-0 was the Hilltopper’s battle-cry. The 2020 Hilltoppers achieved their goal and finished 6-0. The 2020 Hilltoppers were the 12th Hilltopper football team to go unbeaten, in Joliet Catholic football history. 

On Friday night, before a huge, Homecoming 2021 crowd at Joliet Memorial Stadium, the 2021 Hilltoppers improved to 6-0, with a 41-7 CCL-ESCC Orange victory over St. Laurence (3-3, 1-1). With the victory, JCA (6-0, 2-0), clinched at least a share of the Chicago Catholic League-East Suburban Catholic Conference Orange Division title. The Hillltoppers sit all alone atop the CCL-ESCC Orange standings.

Jordan Anderson returns

The huge Homecoming 2021 crowd, witnessed the return to the lineup of the Hillltoppers All-American running back, Jordan Anderson. Anderson did not disappoint, rushing for 140 yards on eight carries and three touchdowns. The touchdowns were on nine, 30 and 35-yard gallops, to the end zone. 

The other half of the “Deadly Duo” in the Hilltoppers backfield, senior Vinny Iannantone, rushed for 128 yards on 10 carries and scored his 11th touchdown of the season. Iannantone has now rushed for 872 yards on the season. 

“It was so great to be on the sidelines cheering with my teammates,” Anderson said. “I am very happy with my performance, which gave me the opportunity to contribute to our great Homecoming win. Vinny (Iannantone) had another big night for us. We are quite a duo.”

“I wasn’t quite a 100% entering the game but the more carries I had, the better I felt.” 

“It was great to have Jordan (Anderson) back in the backfield with me,” Iannantone said. “It was great working with Jordan, blocking for him and him for me and running behind “The Hogs”. We had a big night in our big Homecoming win. 

“We wanted to come out and score quick tonight and we did. We look forward to going to Chicago next week and it will be a tough contest with Brother Rice,” Iannantone concluded. 

After turning away St. Laurence on the first drive of the game, the Hilltoppers drove 88 yards on seven plays and scored on a nine-yard run from Jordan. After the first of five point-after-touchdowns, from Hilltopper place kicker Pat Durkin, the Hill led 7-0 with 4:17 remaining in the first quarter, 

The big play of that drive was a 52-yard pass completion from Hilltopper senior quarterback Aidan Voss (6-for-9, 137 yards TD) to junior Justin Bonsu (1 catch, 52 yards; 4 carries 26 yards). Bonsu made a terrific catch at the Vikings 20. 

St. Laurence answered with a 14-yard scoring strike from the Vikings senior quarterback, Brandon McCoy (5-for 8, 53 yards, touchdown; 22 carries 54 yards) to junior wide receiver Mike Elizondo. JCA 7 St. Laurence 7 8:30 left in the first half. 

The Hill would answer behind “The Hogs” and score the next 35 points of the game.

The Hilltopper massive offensive line aka “The Hogs” are 6-foot-3, 295 pound center, Niko Paolino. Anthony Birsa (6-foot-5, 265), Josh Jones (6-foot-2 290), Luke Sartori (6-foot-4, 335) and Paul Ragusa (6-foot-1,215). 

“We had a great week of practice and this was a great Homecoming victory for us, Paolino said. “The Hogs” goal was to execute our blocks on every play. We did that tonight. We ran right over St. Laurence.” 


The Hill answered with a six-play 80 yard drive capped off by Anderson’s 30-yard ramble to “the house” for a 14-7 lead with 5:10 left in the half. 

Anderson’s third touchdown, a 35-yard jaunt to the end zone, capped a three play, 83-yard drive, to give The Hill a 21-7 lead at halftime.

Nursing a sore shoulder, in which he received in the Crete-Monee victory last week, Hilltoppers All-State linebacker Mike Rouse, was in street clothes tonight. 

King Michael and Queen Sam.

Rouse was elected Homecoming King along with his Queen Samantha Horn and were honored in a outstanding Homecoming 2021 celebration at halftime. 

5 plays 76 yards.

Iannantone, crashed in from the one-yard line, to cap off a five play-76 yard drive, giving the Hilltoppers a 28-7 lead with 9:54 remaining in the third quarter. 

St. Laurence drove to The Hill 17-yard line before Hilltopper senior defensive back Tajhaun McClellan, turned the Vikings away with his interception at the Hill three yard line, with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter.

“I had to make up for the PI (pass interference) call on me and it felt great to get the pick,” McClellan said. “It took us a while to adjust to St.Laurence’s option attack. After their first scoring drive, we adjusted and shut them down the rest of the way.”

With 11:27 left in the game, Hilltopper senior fullback Ryan Louthan (2 receptions, 25 yards, TD) made a spectacular one-handed catch of a Voss pass and galloped seven yards into the end zone, for a 35-7 Hilltopper lead. 

Hilltopper junior running back Brett Mouw, finished off the Vikings with a 13-yard touchdown jaunt, with 3:12 left in the game. 


“We felt we could throw the ball on St. Laurence,” Voss said. “Our passing success I felt, helped our ground game. It was great to have Jordan back. “The Hogs” did a great job blocking for Jordan and Vinny tonight.”

“We look forward to our trip to Chicago next week.” 

“Kudos go out to our outstanding defensive coordinator Zach Dolph” Hilltopper head coach Jake Jaworski said. “It took Zach about 10 plays for us to adjust to St.Laurence’s option attack and their speed.

“It was great to have Jordan (Anderson) back in the lineup. It worked out just the way we hoped it would. Jordan got some carries and then was able to rest in the second half of the game. “The Hogs” did their job and we had 442 yards of offense on just 35 plays. Not bad!

“We hope to have a great week of practice this week. The reason the kids come to Joliet Catholic, is to play in great games, like what we have next week, at Brother Rice.” Jaworski concluded. 

Next Friday night, the Hilltoppers will travel to Chicago’s Mount Greenwood neighborhood, to take on the Class 7A No.1-ranked Crusaders of Brother Rice (5-1). The Crusaders lone loss was two weeks ago at home, to the Class 8A No.1-ranked Ramblers (6-0) of Loyola Academy, 46-43. 

We are looking forward to seeing our HILL ZONE, overflowing the Tom Mitchell Field visiting stands!

Be there!

Drake Skleba for Joliet Catholic Academy

Find us online