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‘It’s a pretty big game for us’

Montini versus Marian rivalry heavy on intensity

LOMBARD – As if being conference rivals wasn’t enough, Montini and Marian Central have developed another layer to their rivalry by meeting in the playoffs in three of the past four years.

Montini has won all of those meetings and the Hurricanes are well aware of that fact. The Broncos are also looking to improve upon regular season defeats the past two seasons.

“Last year they said that Marian’s goal was beat Montini twice and they only beat us once,” said Montini quarterback Alex Wills. “Now our goal is to beat them twice this year.”

The Broncos bring in an undefeated 6-0 record and have been one of the most impressive teams in the state so far. The Hurricanes have a loss already, which came against a Marmion team that Montini beat 27-3 in Week 5.

Regardless of the records, this is always a big game. Even linebacker Nile Sykes, who will be playing in his first Montini-Marian game after transferring to Montini this school year, noticed a difference this week.

“From what I’m getting from the coaches and everything it’s a pretty big game for us to prove to not only ourselves, but everybody else that we’re one of the most dominating teams in 5A,” Sykes said.

Sykes has been a big part of the Broncos’ defense that has held four opponents under 10 points. The uncommitted and coveted senior recently received an offer from Missouri and plans to go to the South Carolina-Missouri game on Oct. 26. Minnesota has also joined in on his recruitment and Sykes said they will have a coach at tonight’s game.

The Hurricanes have headed into the past four years looking to dethrone Montini in Class 5A and while this game won’t decide if they can do that, it will have big implications on the conference race. Montini is the only undefeated in the Suburban Christian Blue.

“There’s definitely an extra oomph in the coaches this week and all the players,” Wills said.

“I feel like they’re going to try and get revenge, but it’s been really intense this week. We know what they’re going to come out and do based on last year.”

Last week: Montini 38, IC Catholic 21

Montini leaders
Passing: Alex Wills 18-for-26, 202, TD
Rushing: Niko Italia 14-101, TD; Prince Walker 3-72, TD
Receiving: Leon Thornton III 7-82, TD; Matt Brachmann 4-53

Week 7: Montini vs. Marian Central
7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: 19W070 16th St., Lombard
Records: Montini 6-0 (4-0 SCC Blue), Marian Central 5-1 (3-1 SCC Blue)
Outlook: The Broncos have probably been looking forward to this game for a while. The two conference rivals split the meetings last season with Marian winning in the regular season and Montini winning in the playoffs. The Hurricanes are coming off their first close game of the season, a 34-28 win over St. Francis.

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