In an East Suburban Catholic contest where points were hard to come by, it was a sophomore that busted the game open and helped deliver St. Patrick the 17-15 win over Carmel on Saturday at Hanson.
After conceding a safety with 4:45 left in the third quarter that gave Carmel the 9-7 lead, the Shamrocks (5-3, 3-2) held on on defense but the ensuing punt gave them the ball on the one-yard line.
On the second play of the drive, quarterback Zach Fuller found sophomore receiver Trevor Heinlein open for a screen. After catching the pass, Heinlein eluded tackles and burst into open space, going all the way for a 94-yard score. After the touchdown, Thomas Sliwiak (37 carries, 173 yards) successfully converted a 2-point conversion.
“It gave us a lead in an up and down battle. It was a huge play for us. It got us back on top and it just ignited us. When a sophomore steps up like that, it gets everyone fired up,” said St. Patrick head coach Dan Galante.
In the fourth quarter, Carmel (1-7, 1-4) took a safety instead of risking a punt in its end zone, giving the Shamrocks a 17-9 lead. But Carmel’s defense stopped the Shamrocks, and with 2:38 left, the Corsairs scored a touchdown and went for the 2-pt conversion. But Quentin Boce stepped up for the Shamrocks, stuffing the running back on a toss play to preserve the St. Patrick win.
The Shamrocks first score came off an 18-yard completion from Fuller to Mike Warner with 8:24 left in the third quarter. St. Patrick was trailing 7-0 heading into halftime.
“This was a big game to get us back in the playoffs,” said Galante. “We knew we needed to win out to help ourselves out.”