FOOTBALL: Irish lose heartbreaker to IC Catholic
Daily Journal Staff Report
IC Catholic is ranked No. 1 in the IHSA Class 4A Polls and has lost just once since the start of the 2016 season.
But for 47 minutes and 44 seconds, Bishop McNamara had the Knights right where it wanted them.
And then, heartbreak struck.
With no timeouts, 16 seconds on the clock and facing a 20-14 deficit, Knights quarterback Khalil Saunders was successful in his Hail Mary attempt to Jacob Lytton for a 50-yard touchdown that helped the Knights escape with a 21-20 victory.
“I knew it was going to be a game; you get that winning tradition and refuse to lose,” Irish coach Rich Zinanni said. “That was two good programs refusing to lose and going after each other.”
The Irish offense was led by running back Tyshon King, who had 167 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. His first two came in the second and third quarters to give the Irish a 14-0 lead.
After the Knights rallied back to tie it at 14, King found the endzone again with just more than two minutes remaining.
But it was the Irish defense that kept them in it.
The Knights averaged 47 points coming into Friday night’s game and were held scoreless until the halfway point of the third quarter. The Irish out-gained the Knights 392 total yards to 280 total yards.
“We were all over them,” Zinanni said. “They average 40-plus points a game and were puzzled trying to move the ball against us.”
Although they came up short, Zinanni said his team made noise heard throughout the state with their effort against a team that averaged a 38-point margin of victory in their first three games.
Not many people outside of Bishop McNamara’s locker room expected the Irish to be able to challenge Immaculate Conception.
“Everybody knows Immaculate Conception has won two straight state titles and has been blowing everybody out,” Zinanni said. “I think we really made a statement.”