Montini eyes undefeated season, fifth straight title
LOMBARD – Montini is one win away from its first ever undefeated season.
The Broncos beat Sycamore 42-20 in a Class 5A state semifinal Saturday afternoon in Lombard to make a fifth straight trip to the state final.
Montini, now 13-0, will face Sacred Heart-Griffin in the 5A final at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb Saturday at 10 a.m. Despite winning five state titles under coach Chris Andriano, the Broncos have never captured one with an undefeated record.
“That was our No. 1 goal going into the season,” Montini senior wide receiver Tyler Tumpane said of going undefeated. “We’re one game away so we really want to finish this off.”
The previous two times Montini went 9-0 in the regular season, 1995 and 2008, the Broncos lost in the quarterfinals.
“That would be something special, but it’s all about one game now,” Andriano said.
Montini led throughout against Sycamore. The Broncos scored on their first two drives to take a 14-0 lead and took a 28-14 advantage into halftime. Matt Brachmann and Wills added second half scores to put the game away.
Montini allowed an opponent to reach 20 points for just the fourth time this season, but one of those touchdowns was a defensive score for Sycamore. Montini’s defense got interceptions from Derrick Curry, Tyler Quick and Michael Reilley.
“We’ve had a great season,” Andriano said. “We’ve done the right things and it’s time to hopefully get it done again.”
Defensive end Dylan Thompson reveled in the cold weather, electing not to wear sleeves or gloves. The Ohio State recruit will have one more game in the cold at the state final.
“I love playing in the cold,” Thompson said. “When you’re this amped up for a game you really don’t get cold.”
Montini 42, Sycamore 20
Passing: Alex Wills 19-for-25, 179 yards, 3 TDs
Rushing: Niko Italia 19-98; Prince Walker 5-26; Tyler Tumpane 4-22; Wills 7-19, 2 TDs; Nile Sykes 2-0, TD
Receiving: Tumpane 10-93, TD; Conner Costello 5-49; Stephen Dennis 2-21, TD; Leon Thornton 1-9; Matt Brachmann 1-7, TD
Up next: Montini vs. Sacred Heart-Griffin
When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: Huskie Stadium, DeKalb
Records: Montini 13-0; Sacred Heart-Griffin 13-0
Outlook: This is technically a meeting between two undefeated teams, but Sacred Heart-Griffin lost 38-33 to Rochester in Week 2. The Cyclones were awarded the win via forfeit after it was later discovered Rochester was using an ineligible player. Other than that game, SHG has won the other 12 games by over 45 points per contest. Senior wide receiver Malik Turner, an Illinois recruit, has 1,311 yards and 22 touchdown catches. Junior offensive lineman Quinn Oseland also has Division I offers. Junior quarterback Gabe Green has racked up over 3,000 yards passing and is the team's second leading rusher with 610 yards on the ground. Four Cyclones have at least seven rushing touchdowns, including Green, Sam Sargent (652 yards, 12 TDs) and Anthony Dinello (457 yards, 17 TDs).