Ellie Olmanson and Peter Baltes | November 20, 2017
On a frigid fall afternoon Sunday, No. 2 McGlinn (3-1) outscored No. 4 Flaherty (3-1) 21-18 in an action-packed championship game at Notre Dame Stadium.
The Shamrocks managed an impressive record and appeared in the championship game for the first time in several seasons, while the Bears found their way to the championship despite this being only Flaherty’s second year in existence as a dorm. In a matchup that pitted two high-powered, talented teams against one another, McGlinn was ultimately able to hold off a late-game rally by Flaherty in order to secure the title.
The game’s first drive lasted for almost the entire first quarter and was very back-and-forth, consistent with the character of the matchup as a whole. McGlinn quickly drove down the field, aided by a few long successful running plays and two different roughing the passer penalties on the Bears’ defense, one of which negated an interception. Despite eventually reaching the one-yard line, Flaherty’s stout defensive play forced the Shamrocks to turn the ball over on downs.
The flood of scoring would begin in the second quarter. Flaherty managed to move the ball past the 20-yard line on their first drive, but was forced to punt soon afterward. McGlinn would then score the game’s first points coming on a quarterback sneak from junior quarterback Belin Mirabile after a series of successful sweep plays. The subsequent conversion was successful, and the Shamrocks took a 7-0 lead. The Bears struck back quickly after a long catch-and-run set up a short touchdown pass, making the score 7-6. The Shamrocks would respond in kind, once again breaking off large chunks of yardage on sweeps before again scoring on a quarterback sneak and converting the PAT, increasing the lead to 14-6. With little time left in the half, the McGlinn defense came away with an interception, presenting the offense with a short field, which it capitalized on in very short order. For the third consecutive drive, the Shamrocks notched seven points, bringing the scoreboard to 21-6 at the half.