Marist didn’t have a very good week of practice and it carried over to Saturday’s game against St. Patrick, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
The RedHawks allowed 393 yards rushing and 512 yards of total offense, but still managed to depart Hanson Stadium with a 42-34 East Suburban Catholic Conference win.
“I think that’s how we practiced this week,” Marist quarterback Jack Donegan said. “We were lethargic. We scored on that first drive and we got lethargic.”
Marist took the game’s opening kickoff and drove 59 yards on seven plays.
The march was capped by a Peter Andreotti’s one-yard touchdown run. Kyle Gambla added the first of seven point-after kicks as the RedHawks needed just 2:38 to reach pay dirt.
But the rout was hardly on.
The Shamrocks tied the game at 7-7 when Jeremy Molina scored on a five-yard touchdown run and Stephen Mulkerrins added the first of six PATs with 58 seconds left in the first quarter.
Marist (3-1, 2-0) regained the lead when Donegan found Flynn Nagel (six catches, 76 yards) from 16 yards out for a 14-7 advantage with 11:09 remaining in the second quarter.
Back came St. Pat’s, however. This time Tom Sliwiak crossed the goal line from one yard out to cut the deficit to 14-13 (Mulkerrins missed the PAT).
On the ensuing kickoff, Jawill Aldridge raced 87 yards to pay dirt to give Marist a 21-13 lead. Donegan later connected with Andreotti on a 28-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-13 with 2:58 to go in the half.
St. Pat’s played catch-up the rest of the way, but never could get over the hump.
“They’re kick return is very good,” St. Pat’s coach Dan Galante said. “We tried to kick it away from their guys. Good luck with that.”
Aldridge saw a hole and made certain to take advantage.
“I saw the hole, it was a big hole and I hit it,” he said. “My guys did a great job of blocking.”
The Shamrocks (1-3, 0-2) wasted an impressive performance by Molina, who piled up 266 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries. Mike Olijnyk added a 64-yard scoring run for the Shamrocks, whose offensive line of Jack Donovan, Billy Moriarty, Patrick Moriarty, Alex Budzinski and James Macias opened holes all afternoon.
“We felt like we could run the ball and score points,” Galante said. “But their offense is explosive.”
Donegan finished 19-for-32 for 259 yards and three touchdowns. Nic Weishar accounted for seven catches and 90 yards, while Andreotti had 127 yards rushing on 22 carries and scored three times on the day.
Marist’s offensive line of Mitch Schleyer, Jack McHugh, Virgil Robertson, Jack Maida and Jack Hynes was very productive blocking for the run and pass.
St. Patrick quarterback Zach Fuller finished 8-for-22 for 119 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown pass to Mike Warner.
Next up for Marist is Friday’s road showdown with Joliet Catholic.