LOMBARD – Winning four straight state titles speaks for itself, but Montini can still win statement games.
The Broncos beat Class 8A power Maine South 21-19 Saturday in Lombard to start the season authoritatively.
Derrick Curry sealed the win with an interception in the end zone on the final play of the game. Curry and the rest of the Montini defense were the takeaway from the game.
Montini has two major Division I talents on the defense in Dylan Thompson and Nile Sykes, and a number of other standout high school players. The Broncos held Maine South’s usually high-powered offense in check. The Hawks scored fewer than 20 points just once last year, a 19-13 win over Wheaton Warrenville South.
Sykes’ Montini debut was memorable. The senior linebacker transferred from Oak Park-River Forest last year and had two sacks and rushed for a touchdown as a fullback.
The Hawks only scored 19 points, but first-time starting quarterback Alex Basso still passed for 327 yards. Basso ran in for a 5-yard score to cut the Montini lead to 21-19 with 2:48 left in the game, but the Broncos’ defense stood firm on the two-point conversion attempt.
Montini had one more chance on a turnover before Curry’s interception. The Broncos forced two turnovers, but gave the ball away four times.
All three of Montini’s scores came on the ground with Sykes, Tyler Tumpane and Terrance Savain finding the end zone on runs.
It doesn’t get much easier for the Broncos this week as they travel to another traditionally strong football school in East St. Louis for a Saturday game. The Broncos are planning to make it a day trip and make the more than four hour drive back to Lombard after the game.
Montini 21, Maine South 19
Passing: Alex Wills 18-for-33, 269 yards
Rushing: Wills 7 car., 37 yards; Niko Italia 10 car., 24 yards
Receiving: Leon Thornton III 4 rec., 89 yards; Tyler Tumpane 6 rec., 63 yards
Defense: Tyler Quick 13 tackles, fumble rec.; Dylan Thompson 10 tackles (4 for loss), 2 sacks; Nile Sykes 9 tackles (2 for loss), 2 sacks