The Shamrocks of St. Patrick School hosted the Warriors of Kinde North Huron on bitterly cold Saturday afternoon in the 8-Player Division 2 semifinal game.
The Warriors came into the game with a 10-1 overall record, and having beaten Bay City All Saints last week, 38-36.
The Shamrocks also came into the game 10-1 and defeated International Academy (Flint) last week 50-0.
Shamrock sophomore Bret Weller started the scoring when he picked up Warrior fumble and ran a for 70-yard touchdown with 11:40 remaining in the first. The two-point conversion run was stopped by the Warrior defense and the Shamrocks lead 6-0.
As North Huron offense was starting to get things rolling for themselves, the Shamrock defense came up with key fourth down and two stop, with 9:39 left in the first.
With 4:28 remaining in the first, the Shamrock defense made another key play when they knocked the ball away from the Warrior QB Ty Knoblock and took over the football.
With 9:14 remaining in the second quarter, Shamrock sophomore Ned Smith broke free for a 53-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion pass fell incomplete, and the Shamrocks lead 12-0.
The Shamrocks threatened to score again with a 4th and goal situation on the Warrior two-yard line with 2:23 left in the second, but the North Huron defense stopped Isiah Smith at the one-yard line.
At halftime, the Shamrocks led 12-0
With 8:31 remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors got on the board when Knoblock ran it in from one-yard out. The two-point conversion pass was caught by senior Frank Duda and the score moved to 12-8.
In the fourth quarter, the halftime adjustments appeared to open up both offenses. With 7:10 remaining in the game, Ned Smith got his second TD of the game when he ran the ball in from five yards out. The two-point conversion pass from junior Tanner Lawson to senior Isaiah Smith was good, and the Shamrocks were up 20-8.
On the next Warrior possession, Shamrock senior Will Simon picked off a Warrior pass near mid field with 6:48 left. This would set up a Shamrock drive, that was capped off by Isaiah Smith’s one-yard TD run with 4:54 remaining. The PAT kick by sophomore Jeff Davlin was good, and St. Patrick led 27-8.
The Warriors were not done yet. On their next possession, junior John Hoody caught a pass and ran 81-yard for a TD. The Shamrock defense stopped the two-point conversion attempt. The St. Patrick lead was cut to 27-14 with 4:29 remaining.
The Shamrocks were not done either. With just 4:04 left in the game, Ned Smith broke free once again and scored his third touchdown of the game. This one was 70 yards. The two-point pass was no good and the Shamrocks led 33-14.
As the seconds ticked away for the Warrior offense, they had no choice but to try to air it out. Shamrock junior Paul Cook put an end to that when he intercepted the ball and ran it back to the North Huron 40.
The Shamrocks would finish the game with a 33-14 win.
For the Shamrocks, Ned Smith finished with 213 yards rushing. Lawson threw for 73 yards. Isaiah Smith finished with 97 yards rushing. The Shamrock offense finished with 464 yards of total offense while the Warriors were kept to 174.
The Shamrocks move on to the 8-Player Division 2 State Championship game next Saturday at the Superior Dome in Marquette. They will face Crystal Falls Forest Park at 2:00 PM.
To see the full gallery of images from the Shamrock’s game against Kinde North Huron, please visit The Portland Beacon Facebook page.