BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The final score doesn't indicate that the playoff game between St. Joe's and St. Patrick wasn't decided until the final 4:30 left in regulation.
The Fighting Irish from Biloxi dominated the first half with at least 8 shots on goal but couldn't deliver the ball into the net. St. Joseph had two shots on goal and were completely outplayed in the first 40 minutes.
Anything can happen when a dominating team fails to crack the scoreboard leaving the door wide-open for the opposition.
Coach Mario Camps watched his Fighting Irish come out aggressively in the second half, much like they did in the first half,. In the 36th minute Clark Copponex slammed home the games first goal and it appeared St. Patrick was going to dominate the game the rest of the way.
Once again the Fighting Irish failed to extend the lead with a number of scoring opportunities, leaving that door wide-open for St. Joseph.
St. Patrick fans got a little nervous as St. Joe's began picking up its offensive play and kept the ball on St. Patrick's side of the field for a good portion of the second half.
Finally in the 7th minute of the second half, St. Joseph tied the game on a throw-in that bounced off a St. Patrick player and into the net. Momentum was on the side of the Fighting Irish from Greenville.
St. Patrick would catch fire in the final 4:30 left in regulation and bagged three goals to get the hard earned win.
Tyler Musial, Evan Smith and Michael Escobar each scored a goal and the defending champs were back under the win column. A win is a win and coach Camps is happy but not satisfied.
"It took determination by the players, especially at the end when they were seeing that this is their last game, "stated Camps. "We still have a lot of things we have to work on and we'll get those things corrected in practice tomorrow."
St. Patrick goalkeeper Nick Nimmo came up with a number of saves that kept St. Joe's out of the Fighting Irish net.
Eiland Stebly said, "We were playing hard the whole game and I knew we could comeback and get it. We needed to dig deep."
The Fighting Irish (9-2-2) travel to Clarksdale 2:00 p.m. Saturday in round two of the 1A-2A-3A playoffs. St. Patrick wants to claim back-to-back state titles and know they must play like they did in the final minutes of Wednesday's game to reach the top of the mountain this season.