Johnny O’Shea’s epic performance was not quite enough, as Palatine lost to Edwardsville 38-35 Saturday in the second round of the Class 8A playoffs in Palatine.
O’Shea hauled in a record-setting five touchdown catches and a conversion catch. He finished with 19 receptions for 276 yards.
But the three-year starter and all-time pass-catcher for the Pirates would have traded it all for another Palatine football game.
“I just tried to do what I could,” said O’Shea who broke former teammate Matt Lamm’s playoff record of 4 touchdowns. “DJ was throwing the ball on the money every time. It was a tough day. I am proud of my teammates. We gave it all on the field.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
Also having a huge day for the Pirates (7-4) was Angelaccio. The senior had his best game of the season, competing 32 of 52 passes for 374 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Edwardsville (8-3), which will host Minooka next week, was making its second consecutive trip the northwest suburbs.
“The game was just the way I thought it would be,” said Edwardsville coach Matt Martin. “Now we have a home game and it’s against Minooka. We will have our hands full.”
Edwardsville quarterback Kendall Abdul-Rahman looked to put the Tigers in command with his third touchdown of the game, a 5-yard run with a minute left before the half to make the score 28-14.
Palatine then went totally airborne to get back into the game.
Angelaccio completed 11 passes on the opening drive of the second half as the Pirates eschewed the run. Jason Rivera, Jake Moertl, Jack Hopper all had catches during the drive along with O’ Shea, who saved his best for the last.
O’Shea, who had 6 catches on the drive, made an acrobatic one-handed catch in the corner of the end zone to complete a 19-yard touchdown and cut the lead to 21-14.
The Pirates defense, which was manhandled in the first half, then came up with a huge stop to give the Pirates the ball back.
They were rewarded for that efforts when they watched O’Shea catch his fourth TD pass from 21 yards out. The conversion kick was blocked, and Palatine trailed 28-27 with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
“That was huge,” Martin said. “Good call by special teams coordinator Dave Dougherty.”
Edwardsville’s secondary, which had struggled some, came up with a huge play in the fourth. Jalen Cooper picked off a deflected pass at the Palatine 16-yard line. Four plays later, Dionte Rodgers scored on a 4-yard run to make it 35-27 with 6:26 to play.
Again, it was O’Shea and Angelaccio coming up with a response.
O’Shea hauled in his record-breaking fifth TD on a 26-yard pass from Angelaccio to make it 35-33. Angelaccio then hit a quick slant pass to O’Shea for the conversion, and the game was tied at 35 with 4:45 to play.
The Tigers responded by returning the kickoff to the Pirates 40-yard line. They moved the ball to the 14-yard line where Devin Parker booted a 31-yard field goal with 48.5 seconds left to make it 38-35.
“Obviously the difference in the game was special teams,” Palatine coach Corey Olson said. “They were very good in their special teams, and they have a very good kicker.”
After taking over the ensuing kickoff at their own 18, Palatine moved to the Edwardsville 48. But Angelaccio’s final pass was knocked away as time expired.
Edwardsville got 86 yards on the ground from Abdur-Rahman.