BRIGHTON, Mich(WLNS) – Reaching the high school state title game, in any sport, is a challenge.
For the Portland St. Patrick football team, its become the norm.
The Shamrocks are preparing for their third state title game in four years, and will be looking for its first state title since 1992.
“We’ve been through a lot together,” Portland St. Patrick senior left guard, Brian Kwiecinski said. “Most of these guys have seen another state title opportunity such as last year. We’ve learned from our mistakes and we know we have to pick each other up and play our best.”
Getting to the state championship game is nice, but for the Shamrocks they’re not trying to be runners-up for the third time in four years.
In the 2017 8-Player Division II State Championship game St. Pats lost to Crystal Falls Forest Park, 54-12. Then in the 2019 State Championship game they lost to Pickford, 48-15.
“After three years where we were so close, we’re ready to take it home,” Kwiecinski, who has been on all three state runner-ups teams, said.
Portland St. Patrick football coach, Patrick Russman said a key to Saturday’s game will be his team “Just believing in each other and getting after it, and playing the way they can play.”
The Shamrocks(10-0) will have their hands full in Powers North Central(10-0), who has been held to less than 50 points just once this season.
A 50-2 win over Marion in the state semifinals is what gifted the Jets a date with the Shamrocks, who took down Kinde North Huron, 34-12, in the state semifinals.
“I just don’t believe they’ve seen as fast as us,” Kwiecinski said. “Most of the teams they’ve played, they’re big, they’re strong, but a team like Powers runs around them and they’re going to have to run through us.”
“We’re just going to have to be in the right positions and play hard and play smart,” Russman said. “It’s a lot about positioning and then just playing to the best of your ability.”
The Shamrocks and the Jets won’t have to worry about playing for a state title in the cold. The state championship game will be held at the indoor Legacy Center Complex in Brighton. Kickoff is set for 2 pm.