He’s got a name that piques the interest of English professors and poetry enthusiasts.
Those who teach English have a tendency to perk up, when they find out that a James Joyce is taking their class.
“They’ll say, ‘hey, great name,’ ” said a smiling Joyce, following his five-catch afternoon in Loyola Academy’s 31-7 victory over visiting Mt. Carmel on Sept. 9.
James Joyce, famous Irish novelist, short story writer and poet, was good with words.
James Joyce, wide receiver, is good at catching footballs.
Joyce knows Joyce.
“I’ve written a research paper on him,” said the 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior.
His grade? He didn’t say.
But Joyce’s grade on the gridiron is getting better and better. With his five catches for 48 yards, he had a career game against the Caravan (2-1).
His play of the game came with 3:55 remaining in the first half, when he hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass from LA quarterback Quinn Boyle.
“I was on a little crossing route,” said Joyce, of his first ever varsity TD. “It floated up there a little, but I was able to come down with it.”
Earlier in the quarter, Joyce just missed scoring a TD on a 17-yard pass from Boyle. A Mt. Carmel defensive back broke up the pass at the last second.
“From a confidence standpoint, putting one in the end zone is big for me,” said Joyce, who is the brother of ex-Loyola wideout Joe Joyce and ex-LA lineman Jack Joyce.
So far, Joyce’s numbers are fairly modest. He has caught 12 passes for 75 yards in three games.
LA head coach John Holecek believes that he’s got something with Joyce.
“He’s shown some flashes, but he just hasn’t been consistent,” said the veteran coach. “When he becomes consistent, our passing game will be much more dangerous.”
Saturday’s win was a breakout game for the LA offense. The Ramblers (2-1) put 24 points on the board in the first half — and looked good doing it.
Boyle, who possesses 4.7 speed, displayed his dual-threat capabilities by completing 17 of 25 passes for 144 yards and running the ball 13 times for 79 yards.
“Quinn has a great command of the offense,” Holecek said.
Boyle capped off a 12-play, 88-yard drive with an 11-yard run with 2:37 left in the first quarter. Lined up in the shot gun, he looked off a receiver in the left flat, froze the defense and then sprinted into the end zone.
In addition to Joyce, junior wideout Rory Boos (2-41) and senior tight end Alex King (3-23) were Boyle’s other two go-to targets.
In LA’s third series of the game, Boos hauled in a 30-yard pass, which eventually set up a 34-yard field goal by Daniel Baker. Then, with 2:55 left in the first half, Boos used some nice footwork to score on an 11-yard pass.
King keyed LA’s final scoring drive of the game. First, he took a short pass in the left flat and turned it into an 18-yard gain. And then, six plays later, he gathered in a perfect touch pass from Boyle for a one-yard score.
LA’s Game Balls: Quinn Boyle (QB), James Joyce (WR), Anthony Rodriguez (LB), Armoni Dixon (LB), John Lynch (DB), Jake Gonzalez (DB), Charlie Gilroy (OT), Daniel Baker (K-P)
Mt. Carmel’s Game Balls: Kyle Davis (RB), Aristotle Nakos (RB)
LA’s Offensive Player of the Game: Boyle
LA’s Defensive Player of the Game: Rodriguez
LA;s Offensive Stat Leaders:
— Boyle (17-24-0, 144 yards, 3 TD passes; 13 rushes, 79 yards, 11-yard TD run)
— Joyce (5 catches, 48 yards, 23-yard TD catch)
— Rory Boos (2 catches, 41 yards, 11-yard TD catch)
— Alex King (3 catches, 23 yards, 1-yard TD catch)
— Dillon Grant (3 catches, 23 yards)
— Hamid Bullie (8 rushes, 24 yards)
— Tyler Flores (6 rushes, 26 yards)
MC’s Offensive Stat Leaders:
— Davis (10 rushes, 45 yards)
— Nakos (10 rushes, 36 yards; 4 catches, 27 yards)
— Radomir Premovic (8 rushes, 24 yards, 13-yard TD run; 7-11-0, 52 yards)
LA’s Defensive Stat Leaders:
— Rodriguez (12 tackles, ½ sack, tackle for loss)
— Dixon (7 tackles, ½ sack, 2 TFLs, forced fumble)
— Lynch (8 tackles)
— Gonzalez (5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF)
— John McMahon (6 tackles)
— Marty Geary (4 tackles, ½ sack, fumble recovery)
— Jordan King (4 tackles, 1 FF, ½ sack)
— Patrick Daniels (3 tackles, 1 TFL)
— Nicholas Murphy (2 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries)
Notable: Junior Daniel Baker turned in solid work. He nailed a 34-yard field goal and went 4-for-4 on PAT kicks. He also made two tackles on kickoffs. … Due to an injury to Joshua Green earlier in the week, senior tight end Charlie Gilroy was moved to the offensive line. The experiment was a success. Gilroy ended up playing exceedingly well at left tackle. … Senior Andrew Forsyth is getting a chance to display his versatility. Listed as a quarterback on the roster, No. 12 lined up at wide receiver against the Caravan. On the final series of the game, he caught a nice over-the-shoulder 18-yard pass from junior John Fallon.