Montini's Joe Borsellino recovered an Aurora Christian fumble with two minutes left in the fourth quarter and scored the winning touchdown a minute later as Montini came from behind to defeat Suburban Christian Blue rival Aurora Christian 31-27 in Lombard on Friday night.
"Borsellino caused the fumble, recovered the fumble and made the winning touchdown catch," said Montini coach Chris Andriano. "The kid is such a winner, all he cares about is the team. You want to be on this kid's team."
As the third quarter was winding down, Montini (6-2, 5-1) seemed to have the game well under control, holding onto a commanding 24-6 lead on the strong running of Dimitri Taylor and the passing and running of backup quarterback Mark Gorogianis.
Then Aurora Christian running back Joel Bouagnon burst open up the middle and found the end zone, tightening the score. Kicker Trevor Hills shocked everyone in the stadium next, not only kicking an onside kick but recovering it himself.
"They really pulled a good one there," Andriano said. "They executed it perfectly. And it really did change momentum because it got them back in the game."
A couple minutes later Aurora Christian quarterback Ryan McQuade punched it in from the 1-yard line, and Bouagnon ran for a 2-point conversion, making the score 24-20.
But Aurora Christian (7-1, 5-1) wasn't done yet. Midway through the final period Aurora got the ball back. McQuade's passes started connecting with Brandon Mayes, Cory Windle and Bouagnon before hitting Mayes with a 12-yard strike for the go-ahead score, giving Aurora Christian a 27-24 lead with just less than four minutes left in the game.
When Noah Roberts intercepted a pass at midfield a minute later, it looked as if Aurora Christian had accomplished the upset.
"When the defense took the field, I told them there is no way we're not winning the game," Borsellino said.
Two plays later Borsellino had his chance.
"I went after the ball and stripped it," Borsellino said. "I didn't know where the ball was at first, but then I saw it laying there and jumped on it. Under that pile was just crazy and I just grabbed the ball and yelled, 'Ref, I have the ball.'"
A minute later it was Borsellino who caught the winning touchdown.
"I was so proud of our players," said Aurora Christian coach Don Beebe. "The kids have so much heart, so much passion. That's what's going to lead them to another great season."