NOVI - Down 21 points at the half against Division 1 football powerhouse Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Novi showed it wasn't going to go down quietly, but in the end, the Shamrocks held firm for a 35-21 win.
The visiting Wildcats gave Catholic Central a run, outscoring them 21-14 in the third and fourth quarters after trailing big in the first half, but the Shamrocks were able to seal the deal in Saturday afternoon's D1 district final and eliminate the Wildcats from the postseason for the second straight year.
“I am proud of these kids,” was Novi head coach Jeff Burnside’s message after the game. “There is no quit in them. A lesser group of character kids would have folded at the half and they didn’t.”
The unbeaten Shamrocks got things rolling in the first quarter with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Austin Brown to Isaiah Popp to take a 7-0 lead with 4:15 left in the first quarter.
A second Catholic Central touchdown, this time a 1-yard run by Cameron Ryan, moved the Shamrocks to the 14-0 advantage with 8:51 left in the first half.
Novi appeared to have it's cross-town foe stopped with about three minutes left in the quarter while having a chance to cut into the deficit before halftime, but a roughing the kicker penalty on the Shamrock punt gave the hosts new life on the drive. Brown took advantage and led his team down the field, connecting with Mike Harding on an 11-yard pass with six seconds left in the second quarter to give the Shamrocks a commanding 21-0 lead.