The St. Viator football team knew it was going to be in for a tough battle with St. Patrick on Friday night at Forest View Education Center in Arlington Heights.
The Lions needed a win to finish 6-3 and secure a playoff spot.
The Shamrocks had other things in mind.
St. Patrick came out strong, led 20-0 by halftime and went on to a 41-13 win over the Lions in the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
"We're flat on both sides of the ball," said St. Viator coach Brandon New. "We just made too many mistakes. You can't do that against a good team."
The Shamrocks (6-3, 4-2), who finished in a tie for second place in the conference, scored first at the 8:57 mark of the first quarter.
Jeremy Molina scored the first of 3 touchdowns with an 11-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
A offsides call and then two unsportsmanlike penalties on the same play pushed the Lions (5-4, 2-4) back to the St. Viator 30.
Getting the ball at the Lions 45 St. Pat's went the distance in five plays to score on sophomore running back Trevor Heinlein's 11-yard run for a 13-0 lead before the end of the quarter.
A blocked punt later gave the Shamrocks the ball on the St. Viator 19.
Quarterback Zach Fuller (6-9 passing, 123 yards, 1 interception) hit Molina with a 17-yard pass for a 20-0 lead with 6:05 left in the half. A 25-yard run by Molina, who finished with 103 yards in 16 attempts on St. Pat's first drive of the second half gave the visitors a 27-0 lead.
"They were just able to out-muscle us up front," said New. "They were just big and physical."
The Lions showed some fight when quarterback Bobby Calmeyn (14-for-29, 171 yards, 2 interceptions) hit Matthew Darling with a 42-yard touchdown pass with 4:01 left in the third quarter. Darling caught 8 passes for 107 yards.
St. Patrick came right back to score on Anthony Escobar's 4-yard run with 1:38 left in the quarter.
Sophomore running back Joey McIntyre (18 carries, 115 yds) scored from the 1 earlier in the fourth quarter. The Shamrocks again countered with a 6-yard run by Thomas Sliwiak, who finished with 126 yards on 18 carries.
The Lions finished with 291 yards of offense and the Shamrocks totaled 413.
"We tried to simulate their offense in practice by using two offensive teams," said St. Patrick linebacker Ceasar Almeida. "I think we did a good job in defensing them."
"The last five weeks our defense has really come together," said Shamrocks coach Dan Galante. "Our down linemen did a great job shutting them down. We couldn't let their offense get going. The can really move the ball."
"We won and lost as a family," said St. Viator senior lineman Zack Niro. "We didn't come out as strong as we should have. They are a big team and we expected them to run."