City High vs Joliet Catholic Hilltoppers

City High vs Joliet Catholic Hilltoppers

7:00 pm

Venue

Joliet Catholic Academy
1200 N. Larkin Ave., Joliet, IL

Week One

Little Hawks Get Rematch at Powerhouse Joliet Catholic

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Entering his fourth season at City High, Head Coach Mitchell Moore continues to book the Little Hawks for the big stage.

There were likely doubters in 2021 when the Little Hawks sought out a matchup with perennial-power Dowling Catholic. The Maroons, who had last seen City High in double-overtime of the 2010 4A State Championship game, won seven straight state titles from 2013-2019. The Little Hawks, meanwhile, had won two games each of the past four seasons.

Nevertheless, a pair of trick plays helped lift the resurgent Little Hawks to a 21-17 upset in Coach Moore’s second game at Bates Field. The signature victory would propel City High back to the UNI-Dome for its first State Semifinal appearance since 2010.

In 2022, City High played on the B1G-est stage in the state of Iowa: Kinnick Stadium, home of Hawkeye Football. The Little Hawks battled Iowa City Liberty in the “Clash at Kinnick,” shattering the Iowa high school football attendance record with an estimated 20,000 spectators.

In Year Three, that aggressive approach to scheduling led to a new idea: a crossover event between two of the proudest programs from the states of Iowa and Illinois.

Enter: the Joliet Catholic Hilltoppers, whose 15 championships are the most in Illinois high school football history. A decade removed from winning it all, the Hilltoppers returned to dominance in 2018, bringing home Illinois Class 4A State Championships before repeating as champions in 2021. The Hilltoppers make frequent appearances in the national rankings and are a fixture in the suburban Chicago “Super 10.”

City High has a resume of its own, laying claim to nine football state championships. In the playoff era, the Little Hawks have won four championships (’93, ’94, ’96, ’09) and finished runner-up on three occasions. 

City High Football has also produced 18 NFL players, including at least one in each of the past eight decades, and 220 all-state players. 

During the conference championship era from 1992-2013, the Little Hawks won a league-best 23 MVC Championships at an .838 (166-32) conference win percentage. City High won 33 consecutive MVC games from 2007-2011 and posted 27 straight victories during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

With 58 state championships across all sports, City High was named the top Iowa high school for athletics in 2010. Despite many elite finishes in recent years, The School That Leads has not won it all in a team sport since girls track and field got the job done in 2011.

Last season, Joliet Catholic defeated City High, 48-13. The Little Hawks went on to a 6-3 record in the state of Iowa. Highlights included a playoff appearance, rivalry wins against Ames and Iowa City West, as well as an upset at No. 3 Bettendorf to close out the regular season.  Joliet Catholic finished 10-4 overall with a No. 15 ranking in Illinois according to MaxPreps

This year, the Little Hawks travel to Hilltopper Country for what is believed to be the program’s first out-of-state contest. In the words of legendary former head coach Larry Brown, the opportunity ahead will constitute “48 minutes for a lifetime of memories.”

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Thank you @H_HAWK for coming to City High today! I am proud to announce I’ve received my 4th offer from the Central Missouri Mules! @UCMFootballTeam #GoMules

𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙠 𝙮𝙤𝙪 Coach @H_HAWK for joining us this morning!

Another special day when an 𝙤𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙧 is given at The School That Leads‼️

#iahsfb x #TheSTANDARD

@CityHighSports on 🔥🔥 last night!!

•@ICHSBaseball 🧹2️⃣
•@ICCityHighSB 🧹2️⃣ & 17 📏‼️
•@iccitymensoccer headed to STATE👑;
Coach Jose & the boys are TOUGH.

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