By Bud Milroy

Sports Correspondent

This wasn’t the start the Catholic Central High School football team had envisioned.

For the first time since 1994, the Hilltoppers dropped to 0-3 on the season, losing 19-13 at home Saturday against Kenosha St. Joseph.

In spite of the loss, though, head coach Tom Aldrich was still encouraged by the prospects of the season.

“I sure would’ve liked a win,” said Aldrich. “But our guys gave an outstanding effort. We had some chances, but couldn’t capitalize on those opportunities.”

The Lancers scored first and were looking for another when they turned the ball over. The Hilltoppers turned that into their first scoring drive, capping it with a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Carson Meinholz. Spencer Wilker hit the extra point to tie the score.

The Hilltoppers then took their only lead of the game in the second quarter. Meinholz, like he had on the first drive, did most of the damage through the air, but Zach Mehring put the ball in the end zone from the one to make the score 13-7 as the extra point failed.

The second half opened with the Hilltoppers receiving the ball, but just two plays into the half, Meinholz was injured and lost for the rest of the game.

The Lancers then began running the ball almost exclusively. Eight straight carries by star running back Chris Madden ended in a touchdown to tie the score, but CCHS’s Jeff Stemper blocked the extra point.

Catholic Central looked to have a chance to score on the next drive, but Madden stripped the ball from Tyler Burzawa to end the threat.

Madden then got the ball on the offensive side and scored on a 29-yard touchdown run. The extra point failed and made the score 19-13.

The Hilltoppers had some shots late in the fourth quarter, but could not convert.

“St. Joe’s is a big and powerful team with an outstanding running back,” Aldrich said. “We bent defensively but for the most part didn’t break.

“There were just a couple of plays that did us in.”

Next up for the Hilltoppers will be a trip to Racine Friday for a 7 p.m. game at Horlick Field against Racine Lutheran.

“Lutheran has nice size up front and are well coached,” Aldrich said. “They find what they can do best and stay with it and do it well.”