Thrilling the Montini faithful who drove five hours to the City of Champions football tripleheader at East St. Louis, the four-time defending Class 5A champions beat the host school 34-6 on Saturday.
Making up a first-quarter 6-0 deficit, Broncos quarterback Alex Wills threw 5 touchdown passes to four receivers, hitting Leon Thornton III for Montini's second and final touchdowns, of 43 and 8 yards.
"They were run-blitzing us with their linebackers, and it was hard to run the ball so we had to resort to throwing the ball, and I think he did a really good job of throwing the ball quick, because there was pressure," said Montini coach Chris Andriano. The coach said Wills completed 17 of 23 passes.
"We didn't set the world on fire offensively today, but I thought we were smart and affective with what we needed to do," Andriano said.
Wills helped Montini (2-0) earn a 7-6 lead on his 46-yard touchdown strike to receiver Connor Costello. Wills added an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt Brachmann and a 21-yarder to receiver Tyler Tumpane, out of the slot, for a 27-6 halftime lead.
Ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, Montini clamped down on the offense of East St. Louis (1-1). Flyers running back Nate Strong left the game due to a leg injury in the second quarter. He had run for 217 yards in East St. Louis' opening win over Rockhurst, Mo.
Ohio State-bound defensive tackle Dylan Thompson had 3 sacks and both linebacker Nile Sykes and defensive back Jeremy Giderof picked off East St. Louis quarterback Temarcus Jones, who opened the scoring with a touchdown pass.
"I thought we played very fast against an extremely fast team, so I thought our defense really matched their speed," Andriano said.
Also at the City of Champions, Edwardsville beat Soldan International (Mo.) 49-6 and Loyola beat O'Fallon 44-20.