The Providence varsity game started 75 minutes late because bad weather delayed the sophomore contest, but the Celtics didn’t waste any time taking over Friday night against Minooka.
Providence pinned the Indians deep early in the game, took advantage of the field position with two first-quarter touchdowns on a short field and went on to a dominating 56-13 victory in its home opener.
Quarterback Justin Hunniford threw six touchdown passes in the first half–four to 6-foot-4 wide receiver Miles Boykin and two to 6-foot-5 tight end Nate Vejvoda—to build a 42-7 halftime cushion.
Hunniford, a 5-foot-10 senior, finished with seven touchdown passes to break the school single-game record of five that belonged to four Celtics.
“It’s nice to be able to put up numbers like that, but it’s not about my individual numbers,’’ Hunniford said. “It’s about how the team came out. We came out fired up, ready to play.’’
The game had a promising start for Providence (2-0) after three incomplete passes by Minooka quarterback John Carnagio forced a punt from the Indians’ seven-yard line.
“That’s exactly what we wanted. The defense loves to come out right away and give it right back to us,’’ Hunniford said.
Two plays later, Boykin caught a 24-yard pass down the left sideline to open the scoring with 10:48 left in the first quarter.
Providence got the ball back at Minooka’s eight-yard line after a bad snap on a punt attempt. Hunniford lofted a seven-yard completion to Boykin for a 14-0 lead with 8:33 remaining in the opening quarter.
Providence piled up four touchdowns in the second quarter to put the game out of reach.
Hunniford found Vejvoda down the middle for a 45-yard score on the second play of the quarter. Vejvoda’s five-yard touchdown catch made it 28-0 midway through the quarter that followed another three-and-out by Minooka (1-1).
“Those two (Boykin and Vejvoda), they do such a great job,’’ Hunniford said.
The Celtic defense was led by linemen Luis Vasquez, Jake Rost and Tyler Schiemann and linebackers Dan Miller, Brendan O’Hara, Emmet Trost and Jimmy Sharkey.
Vasquez recovered a Minooka kickoff return fumble early in the second quarter, which enabled the Celtic offense to use up three more minutes on the possession.
Boykin’s 60-yard reception on a slant put Providence ahead 35-0 before Minooka’s Nate Gunn scored from a yard out to make it 35-7 with 1:56 left before halftime.
Providence wasn’t done. Hunniford and Boykin connected on a three-yarder for a 42-7 advantage with 25 seconds left in the half.
Hunniford was 18-of-21 for 262 yards in the first half thanks to protection from the line of center Joe Zemen, guards Justin Balog, Travis Woerner and Tom Younker and tackles Mike Szot and Nick Barker.