“Drive for 15” and more continues Saturday night versus Genoa-Kingston

Drake Skleba for Joliet Catholic Academy 

On Saturday night at 7 p.m., our IHSA Class 4A No.1-seeded, undefeated Hilltoppers of Joliet Catholic Academy (11-0), will host the No.4-seeded Cogs of Genoa-Kingston (10-1), in an IHSA Class 4A Quarterfinal at Joliet Memorial Stadium.

“The Drive for 15” will continue as “The Hill” continues it’s drive for their 15th IHSA State Football Championship. Also, with a win, the Hilltoppers will claim the 700th victory, in the Hilltoppers’ illustrious, football program. 

The Genoa-Kingston Cogs 

This is the 20th IHSA State Football Playoff appearance for the Cogs. The Cogs have a 21-18 overall playoff record, with an IHSA Class 1A State Football Championship in 1977. 

The Cogs are under the tutelage of first-year Head Football Coach, Cam Davekos. 

The Cogs (10-1, 8-1) finished in second-place in the mighty Big Northern conference, to the undefeated IHSA Class 3A top-seeded, Tigers of Byron High School (11-0, 9-0). On September 17, the Tigers held off the Cogs 7-3. 

After defeating numerous, pass-happy offensive schools this season, the Hilltopper defense will face a “ground attack” from the Cogs. 

Genoa-Kingston, has rushed for 3,017 yards the season, led by junior quarterback Nolan Perry, along with “The Engel Brothers” senior running back, Brody Engel and junior fullback, Chase Engel. Junior Ethan Wilnau adds depth to the Cogs’ rushing attack. 

Perry has thrown 23 passes this season, completing seven for 130 yards and one touchdown. 

Up front, the Cogs offensive line is led by 6-foot, 305 pounds Andy Benson and 5-foot-10, 260 pounds, Owen Bohne. The Cogs offense averages 36 points-per-game. Benson and Bohne anchor the stingy Cog’s defense, which allows just 4.8 points-per-game. 

Brody Engel, anchors the Cogs’ secondary. Engel had a huge “pick-six” in the Cogs 27-3 IHSA Second-Round victory over Wheaton St. Francis, last Saturday. 

The Joliet Catholic Academy Hilltoppers

This is the 41st IHSA State Football Tournament appearance for the Hilltoppers. The Hilltoppers have a 116-26 playoff record, with 14 IHSA State Football Championships and four IHSA State Football runner-up finishes. 

“The Hill” is led by Head Football Coach, Jake Jaworski (JCA ’02). Jaworski is in his fifth season at the helm of the Hilltoppers, with an overall record of 38-14, with the 2018 IHSA Class 5A State Championship. Jaworski’s 2019 Hilltoppers advanced to “The Class 5A Elite 8”.  

The 2020 Hilltoppers (6-0), this spring, became the 12th JCA football team, to finish undefeated.

The 2021 undefeated Hilltoppers, are are averaging 45 points-per-game and are allowing 16.8 points-per-game.  

The dual-threat Hilltopper QB Aidan Voss 

Voss, after running all over Wheaton Academy for 139 yards, in the Hilltoppers 48-14 IHSA Second-Round victory, has now rushed for 428 yards and six touchdowns. Voss has completed 40 of his 78 passes for 913 yards and 11 touchdowns, with four interceptions. 

Voss has connected with his favorite receiver, senior Jake Fieldman, who has hauled in 23 receptions, for 617 yards and eight touchdowns. 

“The Deadly Duo” plus one 

Hilltopper senior running backs, Vinny Iannantone and Jordan Anderson, have combined for 2,517 yards and 39 rushing touchdowns, this season. 

Iannantone, has rushed for 1,542 yards with 17 touchdowns.. 

Anderson has rumbled for  975 yards and 22 touchdowns. Anderson, also has two touchdown tosses from Voss. 

Senior fullback Ryan Louthan, who punished Wheaton Academy last week with 103-yards rushing, has now rushed for 358 yards and a touchdown. Louthan, has hauled in six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.

The Hilltopper “D”   

Hilltopper junior defensive ends Jeremy Johnson and Billy Burke, along with defensive tackle, sophomore Dillan Johnson, will look to turn-off, the high-octane Genoa-Kingston, running-attack.

Senior linebackers, Mike “King Michael” Rouse and Niko Wilhelm, along with All-CCL-ESCC Orange defensive back Tajhaun McClellan, will be around to “clean up” any Cog backs, who escape the Hilltoppers “Front Four”. 

IHSA Class 4A “Final Four Road Trip” next weekend 

With the quarterfinal win on Saturday, JCA will be on the road, next weekend. 

“The Hill” will face the winner of No.2-seeded Rockets of Richmond-Burton (11-0) and the No.6-seeded, Wildcats of Chicago Phillips (9-2). The Rockets and the Wildcats, will play at Chicago’s Gately Stadium, Saturday afternoon at 4. 

If Richmond-Burton is victorious on Saturday, JCA will hop on their buses for a 90-mile bus ride to Richmond, Illinois, located on the Illinois-Wisconsin border, next weekend.

If Chicago Phillips is victorious, the Hilltoppers will travel to Chicago’s Gately Stadium, which is located at 103rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue, on Chicago’s Southeast Side. 

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