On Friday, October 14th, the Shamrocks made the road trip to Tekonsha for a must win game against the Indians. Sitting at 3-4, the Shamrocks knew that they must win the last two games to qualify for the playoffs but standing in their way was a speedy 5-2 Tekonsha team that was determined not to lose. On a muddy field, in the cold and rain, the Shamrocks scrapped for a win, finishing 28-26.
In the first quarter, the Shamrocks wasted no time, handing the ball of to star running back Ned Smith all the way down the field, capping the drive with a 30-yard touchdown run by Smith. Quarterback Connor Cross connected with John Schneider to complete the two-point conversion leaving the score 8-0. The Indians broke loose on the next drive, but after a long run and touchdown saving tackle by Tanner Lawson, the Shamrock defense kept the Indians out of the endzone. Again, St. Patrick’s handed the ball to Ned Smith all the way down the field, and Smith broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run. Cross completed the 2-point conversion with a scramble, leaving the score 16-0 after the first score.
The second quarter was scoreless, as the rain caused both offenses to sputter.
In the third quarter, the Indians quickly got on the board, breaking lose on the second play from scrimmage and completing the two-point conversion leaving the score 16-8 Shamrocks. On the next kickoff, John Schneider had a beautiful 56-yard kick return, which set up another Ned Smith touchdown. The extra point failed, leaving the score 22-8 after three quarters of football.
In the fourth quarter, the Shamrocks extended their lead when they marched down the field, relying on a few good scrambles for first down by QB Connor Cross, and finishing with a 20-yard touchdown reception by Zach Spitzley. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score 28-8 Shamrocks with about 9 minutes left to play. Tekonsha was not going down without a fight though, and with 5 minutes left to play they scored another touchdown, leaving the score 28-14. On the next kickoff, a beautiful onside kick was recovered by Tekonsha. The Shamrocks played great defense, but on fourth down and 16, a Shamrock defensive back was perfectly positioned for an interception when the muddy conditions caused him to slip, leaving the receiver open to catch the ball and run into the end zone. This left the score 28-20 Shamrocks, with about four minutes left to play. The cold and rain again wreaked havoc on the Shamrocks a few plays later, when a missed hand off allowed a defensive player to grab the ball and return it deep into Shamrock territory. The Indians were successful putting in a touchdown, but a phenomenal defensive effort by Alex Kissane with assistance from Bret Weller and Zach Spitzley, kept the score 28-26 with the Shamrocks still winning. The Shamrocks were able to pounce on the onside kick, and after punting to Tekonsha again had to play defense against the very fast and dangerous Tekonsha offense. The Shamrocks held them and took a knee for the win.
“We are very proud of the team for weathering a strong comeback by a very dangerous team.” Said Head Coach Patrick Russman. “We had a fantastic defensive stop on the two-point conversion to preserve the lead. Brian Kwiecinski stepped up and played well adding to a good night for the offensive line. Bret Weller came up with amazing blocks. Ned Smith had another outstanding performance, and Connor Cross grew as a quarterback as he did a great job managing a wet weather game. Alex Kissane, Riley Kissane, John Schneider, Brett Price, and Tanner Lawson did a great job against their speedy receivers. Derec Fedewa came in and contributed defensively in some big ways, for a freshman to make an impact in a game this significant is impressive.”
The Shamrocks travel to Ashley this Friday for their final regular season game at 7 pm.