Montini stormed out to a 17-point lead barely five minutes into Friday night's latest Suburban Christian Blue showdown between Class 5A state football powerhouses at Marian Central.
But a bigger storm was about to start forming from Minnesota-bound quarterback Chris Streveler and the Hurricanes at George Harding Field. It was a power-packed offensive barrage that relentlessly battered the three-time defending Class 5A champion and top-ranked team in its class by The Associated Press.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Streveler rushed for 4 touchdowns and threw for a pair as Marian Central, the third-ranked 5A team, scored the last 42 points en route to a stunning 49-24 victory.
"Usually that doesn't happen to us," said Montini senior receiver Joey Borsellino, who caught a 71-yard touchdown on the third play of the game. "We're usually a team that's resilient even if we go down. Tonight it didn't happen."
It did for defending conference champion Marian (7-0, 5-0) as it recovered after 2 of its 3 lost fumbles propelled Montini (5-2, 4-1) to its big early start. Borsellino, and Mark Gorogianis on his 32-yard touchdown catch, made excellent adjustments in 1-on-1 coverage on throws from Alex Wills and Andrew Harte's 48-yard field goal made it 17-0 after the opening 5:02.
Streveler, who hit his first 11 passes en route to going 17 of 19 for 193 yards, capped an 80-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Greg Walczak to get Marian going toward its 479 total yards.
"We had to keep it going and we have confidence in ourselves that we can come back from something like that," Streveler said after also rushing for 144 yards on 22 carries with Minnesota quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski in attendance. "We've got a pretty explosive offense. We keep fighting and we never give up."
The Broncos responded with a 69-yard drive as Dimitri Taylor scored from 4 yards for a 24-7 lead 10:56 before halftime. But they got only 40 of their 238 total yards the rest of the way as Tyler and Ryan Hickey and Chris Daniels intercepted passes and Wills had to leave the game late in the third quarter after coach Chris Andriano said he got his bell rung.
"We came out and I thought we got everything going, but we didn't execute like we should have," Borsellino said.
"They challenged us man-to-man and we took advantage of it early," Andriano said. "Their team speed is incredible. They outplayed us up front on both lines."
Streveler kept making plays as he ran for scores of 10, 12, 24 and 6 yards to make it 35-24. He hit Tommy Waytula for a 10-yard touchdown pass and junior Ephraim Lee finished the onslaught with a 1-yard touchdown run with 11:55 to play.
"Streveler's the real deal -- he's one heck of a player," Andriano said. "Their team speed really was a surprise to us."
And it wouldn't be a surprise for these two to meet again in the playoffs for the fourth straight year and seventh time since 2004.
"This was a good game for us, especially against a great team like Montini," Streveler said after Marian's third win in their last four regular-season meetings. "We'll play them again in the playoffs, and it will be an even bigger atmosphere than this."