Glenbard South's trip to the Class 6A playoffs ended quickly with a 41-15 loss to St. Patrick in Chicago on Saturday afternoon.
The Raiders (6-4) hurt their chances with 7 fumbles, losing 2, and 2 interceptions.
"We just fumbled too much, and that put us in bad position on the field," said Raiders coach Jeremy Cordell. "I'm proud of our kids, though. We were in this game until late. We battled all year, and when we were 2-3, the seniors stepped up and helped us win our last four games to get us into the playoffs."
The Shamrocks (7-3) scored first on their inital possession on Jeremy Molina's 1-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
Matt Loos helped tie the score at 7-7 with a 5-yard run that was set up by Zach Smith's 43-yard option pass to Justin Gjerazi.
The Shamrocks muffed a punt attempt on their next possession and the ball went into the end zone for a safety and a 9-7 Raiders lead.
Two fumbles by the Raiders on their next possession for lost yardage and a punt gave St. Patrick the break it needed.
Sophomore quarterback Zach Fuller hit 3 of 4 passes to cap an 84-yard drive that started with 42 seconds left in the half and ended 34 seconds later. John Dabe made a leaping catch of a 16-yard reception from a scrambling Fuller and a 14-9 lead. The key play on the drive was a 33-yard completion to Dabe and a 15-yard late-hit penalty on Glenbard South to put the ball on the 16.
"That was a momenteum changer," Cordell said. "When they scored on first play of the second half, that did not help matters."
The first play was the kickoff to the Shamrocks' Molina, who dashed into a five-man huddle and gave the ball to Dabe. Dabe raced right with the ball and went 85 yards for a 20-9 lead.
"Two of our assistant coaches must have seen something in the films and put that play in," said St. Patrick coach Dan Galante. "That kickoff returned changed the momenteum to our favor. It was a tough tooth-and-nail game."
The Raiders pulled as close as 20-15 when quarterback Alex Jeske hit Clark Gary with a 65-yard pass down the right sideline with 5:26 left in the third quarter.
Molina, who rushed for 290 yds on 30 carries, scored from the 13 with 2:42 left in the quarter and followed that with a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.
"When we were 2-3," Gjerazi said, "we realized that as seniors, we just couldn't let things keep going the way they were. We really came together and played with our hearts to make the playoffs. Today we did not execute and didn't finish the game they way we wanted."