MINOOKA – Both the visiting Providence Catholic Celtics and Minooka Indians opened their football seasons last week with hard-fought games against traditional rivals.
Minooka held off a late Morris charge to win 21-14, while Providence dropped a 42-35 shoot out to Joliet Catholic Academy.
Friday night, the two area rivals battled again, with Providence coming away with the 38-21 win.
After allowing 310 yards rushing to JCA’s Mike Ivlow, the Celtics had another stellar back to contend with in Minooka’s Nathan Gunn.
In the first half Providence’s Dominic Lagone took center stage, utilizing the holes opened up in the middle of the line to rush for 122 yards and three touchdowns as the Celtics powered their way to a 28-7 lead at the break.
Lagone scored on runs of two 3, 3 and 7 yards. Just before halftime, quarterback Justin Hunniford hit Miles Boykin with a screen pass and the 6-foot-5 receiver who is drawing Big Ten interest showed why. He eluded two Minooka defenders and outran the rest en route to a 37-yard touchdown.
Last week, Providence allowed Ivlow’s big game.
Determined not to have that happen again, the Celtics sold out to stop the run and limited Minooka’s Nathan Gunn, a 6-foot-2, 205 pound junior who is also getting looks from Big Ten programs, to just seven yards on five carries.
However, the crowding of the line worked to Minooka’s advantage when quarterback Shane Briscoe faked to Gunn and found Zachry Zamora all alone behind the Providence defense for a 60-yard touchdown that tied the game at the time, 7-7.
Minooka fumbled on the opening play of the second half, and an 11-yard completion to Boykin preceded a 14-yard TD run by Lagone, his fourth, for a 35-7 lead.
A long Briscoe pass was then intercepted at the Providence 41 and the Celtics’ Austin Regan kicked a 28-yard field goal to make it 38-7.
Before they were pulled midway through the third quarter, Lagone ran for 136 yards and Hunniford threw for 186.
With 7:45 to play, Minooka’s Briscoe connected with Anthony Corrado for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 38-14. A
fter a blocked punt by the Indians’ Anthony Phillips, backup quarterback Jacob Czerniakawski went up the middle for a 14-yard TD to provide the final tally.
Briscoe finished with 161 yards and two touchdowns through the air, with Zamora grabbing seven passes for 106.