Isaac, Westerkamp break records in 5A game

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- People will someday forget the score of Saturday’s Class 5A state championship. They may even eventually go blank on which team actually won the game.

It’s unlikely anyone in attendance will ever forget what Joliet Catholic junior running back Ty Isaac and Montini senior wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp did on Saturday.

Isaac, who was the ESPNChicago.com Offensive Player of the Year, stole the show in the first half. He only needed two quarters to break the rushing record for a state title game. He ran for 376 yards in the first half, eclipsing Dakota’s Jake Apple’s record of 373 yards, which was just set in the Class 1A state championship on Friday. Isaac had four touchdowns in the first half.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever saw a first half like I saw with Ty today,” Joliet Catholic coach Dan Sharp said. “He made big play after big play after big play. It was almost like Gale Sayers-ish. We saw Gale Sayers get those six touchdowns way back against San Francisco. That’s what Ty was today.”

Isaac finished with 515 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 26 carries. He had touchdown carries of 71, 63, 56, 66, 2 and 69 yards. Isaac is being recruited by Arizona, Notre Dame and nearly every Big Ten program.

“The kid’s legit,” Westerkamp said. “He’s an unbelievable athlete.”

Westerkamp, who was the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year, wasn’t bad himself in the first half with six receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns, but it was his second half that grabbed the spotlight.

He caught five passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the second half. He had second-half touchdown catches of 5, 69 and 94 yards. He scored the game’s final two touchdowns in Montini’s 70-45 win.

Westerkamp finished with 11 receptions for 331 yards and five touchdowns. He set the state record for receiving yards and the longest reception (94) in a title game.

“I just told him, ‘Man, you stepped up,” Westerkamp’s father and Montini wide receivers coach Bob Westerkamp said. “‘You saved the best for last. When I thought you couldn’t do anything better, you surprised me again.’ I don’t even know what to say. It’s unbelievable.”

Isaac has another season, but it was Westerkamp’s final performance. He is headed to play at Nebraska next season.

Westerkamp will go out as the state’s all-time leader in career receptions (269), receiving yards (4,355) and touchdowns (66).

Westerkamp was at his best in the playoffs, too. In 15 career playoff wins and three state championships, he had 94 receptions for 1,802 yards and 25 touchdowns.

“Jordan is the best in the state of Illinois,” Montini coach Chris Andriano said after the win. “He’s the best player.”