St. Patrick's runs wild in win over Glenbard South


St. Patrick's runs wild in win over Glenbard South

By Patrick Z. McGavin

It is not very often a 300-yard rushing game becomes a footnote. Count Jeremy Molina among the skeptics. I didnt think it had a very good chance after seeing it in practice, the star junior Shamrocks running back said.

St. Patrick won its first state playoff game in eight years with a parlor game trick, a visual sleight of hand that turned a tight-game into a convincing 41-15 victory over Glenbard South in a first-round Class 6A state playoff game at Hanson.

St. Patrick (7-3), the eighth-seed, advances to meet top-seed Cary-Grove in second-round play.

With the Shamrocks up 14-9, receiver Steve Galiardo caught the second half kickoff at the 20-yard line, where he was immediately converged upon by five other Shamrock players. They formed a huddle and hid the ball.

As the Raiders return team converged on the bunched up group, St. Patrick broke out of the circle, with John Dabe carrying the ball. Dabe made one move and ran untouched 80-yards for the touchdown. St. Patrick had never attempted the play in a game before. Our special teams coaches came up with it, seeing something on film, St. Patrick coach Dan Galante said.

It really changed the momentum of the game, he said. Dabe scored two touchdowns in a 25-second second stretch dating to the end of the second quarter. His 16-yard touchdown catch from sophomore quarterback Zach Fuller (12 of 20, 169 yards) gave the Shamrocks the five-point halftime edge.

Molina was a force of nature. He gashed the Raiders for 302 yards on 32 carries. He scored touchdown runs of one, 13 and three yards. We really were excited to play, we put the pressure on the offensive line to come out and play today, Molina said. You have to give them credit. They created a lot of big holes. It was fun to run out there.

Glenbard South (6-4) stayed close for two and a half quarters. Following the kickoff return score, quarterback Alex Jeske threw a beautiful 65-yard touchdown pass to Clark Gary that pulled the Raiders within 20-15.

Behind Molina, the Shamrocks threw the hammer down. The kickoff return provided the spark, but Molinas pounding style proved to be the bread and butter. Galante challenged the Shamrocks to play up to their abilities in the second half. Even when teams have stacked the box against us, we have shown the ability to run the ball, he said. Its the straw that stirs the drink. I thought, in the second half, we came out and played our style of football.

After the Raiders score, Molina answered with a 37-yard burst that set up his own 13-yard touchdown run down the right sideline. His 22-yard run keyed his third touchdown.

I think we kind of underestimated Glenbard South in the first half, and thats probably why we were a little sluggish, Molina said.

Running back Matt Loos scored on a five-yard jaunt set up by running back Zach Smiths 43-yard halfback option pass to Justin Gjerazi that knotted the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter. Glenbard South took its only lead, 9-7, on a safety after St. Patrick snapped the ball out of the end zone late in the second quarter.

Three keys and prediction: Notre Dame - Miami

Three keys and prediction: Notre Dame - Miami

1. Get DeShone Kizer back on track. Notre Dame can’t afford a third consecutive sub-optimal game from its star quarterback, who followed his understandingly-ineffective game in Hurricane Matthew at N.C. State with a head-scratching benching in ideal conditions against Stanford. Miami has a good passing defense (13th in S&P+) that will provide a stiff test. The hope here is that Kizer returns from the bye week feeling refreshed, and that translates into the kind of showings he had in Weeks 1-5. But without a successful game from Kizer, Notre Dame will have an awfully difficult time beating Miami. 

2. Pressure Brad Kaaya. While all quarterbacks are, of course, far less effective under pressure, Kaaya’s splits are significant: A 67.5 completion percentage with no pressure and a 32.4 completion percentage under pressure. Miami ranks a mediocre 63d in adjusted sack rate, though Notre Dame’s defense ranks 119th at getting to the quarterback by the same measure. Notre Dame did have some success pressuring Stanford’s quarterbacks two weeks ago, but that was against a surprisingly weak Cardinal offensive line. If Notre Dame can’t make Kaaya uncomfortable on Saturday, he should have no problem picking apart the Irish secondary. 

3. Finally come up with “a play.” Notre Dame’s five losses have all been by eight or fewer points, and in each of them, the Irish have had a chance to win or tie late. Coach Brian Kelly feels like his team is only a play or two short of having beaten Texas, Michigan State, Duke, N.C. State and Stanford a year after making them against lesser opponents like Virginia and Temple. The onus is on Kelly and his coaching staff to get this still young team in better positions to make and execute those critical plays that could start flipping losses to wins. 

Prediction: Miami 27, Notre Dame 23. DeShone Kizer plays better but struggles to finish drives while Miami’s offense rides a second half surge to a comeback win to deal the Irish their sixth loss of the season. 

Hall of Fame to honor Butkus, Dent, Hampton, Sayers at Bears-Vikings game

Hall of Fame to honor Butkus, Dent, Hampton, Sayers at Bears-Vikings game

It will be a special evening for a handful of legendary Bears on Monday night.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will honor Dick Butkus, Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and Gale Sayers with a Ring of Excellence in a halftime presentation during the Bears-Vikings game at Soldier Field.

The Ring of Excellence is one of three symbols that represents Pro Football Hall of Fame status. The Gold Jacket, the Bronzed Bust and the Ring of Excellence will all be on display during the presentation.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Each former Bear will wear their Gold Jacket and the four Bronzed Busts will be temporarily removed from the Hall of Fame for the ceremony.

Monday marks the second of three seasons in which the Ring of Excellence will be presented to the Hall of Famers.

Check out photos (provided by the Chicago Bears) of each ring below: