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Montini coach Chris Andriano didn't think Edgar Ruano was that fast. Neither did Broncos quarterback Alex Wills.
Yet the defensive tackle displayed his old running back speed on a fumble recovery for a touchdown that dealt a blow to host Marmion on Friday at Fichtel Field in Aurora.
In a battle of unbeaten Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division teams, Montini (5-0, 3-0) broke open a close game with a 17-point second quarter, leading to a 27-3 victory over Marmion (4-1, 2-1).
Dueling field goals by Montini's Mason Weissenhoffer and Marmion's Riley DeMoss produced a 3-3 score after the first quarter. Montini took a 10-3 lead midway through the second quarter on a 13-yard pass from Wills to tailback Nikko Italia to cap a 10-play, 60-yard drive.
Less than four minutes later Montini linebacker Nile Sykes came free on a sack and knocked the ball loose. Ruano, a 6-foot-2, 250-pound senior, picked it up and ran 43 yards for the scoop-and-score touchdown.
"I just kept running, I saw end zone," Ruano said. "I was pretty excited. I haven't scored since my freshman year ó on a scoop and score ... In eighth grade I was a running back. I scored a lot there."
"How about Edgar?" Andriano asked. "I didn't know he was that fast."
"Me, personally, I didn't think he was that fast," said Wills, who completed 24 of 33 passes for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns. "But he proved me wrong today. So that's a big win for the defense, keeps us off the field for one less play. That's OK ó every once in awhile."
Just 24 seconds later Montini's Jeremy Giderof recovered another Marmion fumble. Weissenhoffer booted his second field goal, a 37-yarder, for a 20-3 halftime lead.
"We didn't get rhythm," said Marmion coach Dan Thorpe. "We tried to take advantage of some things, and it was the whole team offense. The line didn't block well and the offensive backs didn't block well. We'd get it going and then we'd have a breakdown. You can't have any breakdowns against a team like this."
The Cadets had rhythm, to a point, particularly in the first half.
"Within every drive we would get going, it would take one or two plays to get a first down. And then as we got to midfield it would just stop, which is on the team as a whole," said Cadets running back Jordan Glasgow, who earned 60 yards on 15 carries and caught 4 Brock Krueger passes for 43 yards.
Right out of halftime the Broncos' no-huddle offense produced Wills' second touchdown pass, a 1-yarder to Leon Thornton III. Neither team dented the scoreboard thereafter.
"It left a bad taste in my mouth the second half. We could have played so much better," Andriano said.
Thorpe wasn't overjoyed, either.
"So we're behind at half and we wanted to come out and win the second half whatever the score would be, and we didn't do that," he said.
Except, he said, for defense. Tackle Joe Talbot and defensive end Nick Ferraro were constant thorns in Montini's side.
"I think defense stepped it up and responded to the challenge at halftime, but offensively we didn't respond to the challenge in the second half," Thorpe said.