Joliet comes through tough challenge

Thursday, October 18, 2018
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Photos by Lynn Kramer
(Above) Joliet’s Justin Harris (30) finds space after a block by Grant O'Roarke against Park City.

Caleb Bailey, Joliet, (Right) shrugs off the attentions of Park City.

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It makes champions of teams when they have to find every ounce of energy to overcome a stubborn opponent. 

Last Friday Joliet came up against one in the shape of Park City who gamely tried to spoil the punch line, matching the J-Hawks with everything and even taking the lead within 12 seconds, scoring off a kick off return for 70 yards. 

It took Joliet almost the entire 1st quarter to hustle back into shape and claim the lead back with a 20-yard run by Justin Harris to make it 8-6. 

Now the J-Hawks were bubbling but not for long as Park City snatched back the lead within 2 minutes of the 2nd quarter, to make it 14-8.

For a team still unbeaten, trailing could be as good as defeat but the J-Hawks rallied and regained the lead within 90 seconds, 15-14, courtesy of a 2-yard run by Harris. A safety made it 17-14 to Joliet in the 3rd to give them some breathing space. 

By the 4th quarter Joliet had shrugged off the first half blues and changed gear to finish the game off with two touchdowns in a 2 minute blast to make it 31-14. The first by Caleb Bailey off a 24-yard throw by Rylan Olson with a 2 point conversion and the last from a 72 yard inception return. 

“It was another hard fought win last Friday against Park City. We came out flat and had a tough time matching Park City's intensity early in the 1st half,” said George Warburton, Joliet coach. “Park City deserves a lot of credit, they were very prepared and ready to play. Fortunately, we have athletes with no quit in them and we came out in second half fired up and ready fight back.”  

“I would like to give a shout out to our fans Friday night, they rallied behind us and gave us the momentum to finish the game strong. We are looking forward to the post season,” said Warburton.     

The victory, their 8th this season, earned Joliet the #1 seed spot from the South going into the playoffs. 

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The Carbon County News

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