It took Marian Catholic almost a half to figure things out.
It just didn't figure things out on Saturday until it was too late.
The Spartans fell behind 35-0 and couldn't play catchup, falling 42-21 to St. Patrick in an East Suburban Catholic Conference game at Hanson Stadium in Chicago.
The loss eliminates Marian (2-5, 0-4) from the playoffs. The Spartans will hope the second-half momentum will carry over into Friday's ESCC showdown with visiting Saint Viator.
"We just have to keep working and not give up," senior Ki-Jana Crawford said. "We've got two more games, we need to finish out strong and get a couple more wins for the seniors."
Marian made itself feel a little better going into halftime. After the Shamrocks (4-3, 2-2) scored 28 second-quarter points to take the five-touchdown lead, Marian's Will Allen pulled in a 22-yard scoring toss from Patrick Schmidt with 21 seconds left in the first half.
The Shamrocks made sure the momentum was short-lived as they marched 80 yards after the second-half kickoff to make it 42-7 as Zach Fuller hit Mike warner for a 17-yard score.
With Dillon Burns (17 rushes, 59 yards) picking up three first downs on the ground and Schmidt hitting Crawford for 32 yards, Marian gained a first-and-goal on the Shamrocks 1. Three plays later, Crawford pulled in a 2-yard pass from Schmidt to make it 42-14.
After a sack by Julian Davis helped force a St. Patrick three-and-out, Marian used 12 plays to march 83 yards for its final score. Emilio Garza capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run with 2:18 left in the game.
Schmidt was 10-of-21 passing for 91 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 33 yards. Burns carried 17 times for 59 yards.
"We tackled much better in the second half and the receivers were able to catch the ball," said Crawford, who had four catches for 54 yards to go with 109 return yards. "We executed much better after halftime."
Although only 2:18 remained after the Garza score, Marian actually had one more chance when Antonio Abron pounced on a Shamrock fumble.
However, the Spartans netted just one first down before the clock expired.
The Shamrocks had 353 total yards to Marian's 212.