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Montini got the fast start it wanted Friday night, but that's not to say rival Marian Central went down without a fight.
Looking to avenge a regular-season defeat to its Suburban Christian Blue rival from a year ago, host Montini quickly marched 80 yards for a score following the opening kickoff and added three more touchdowns in the first half.
But the Hurricanes (5-2, 3-2) had plenty of offense themselves and stayed in the game throughout before falling 40-35 after the unbeaten Broncos covered up the visitors' onside kick in the waning seconds.
"We definitely wanted to come out real strong," Montini senior Tyler Tumpane said after his first 4-touchdown varsity effort helped the Broncos stay perfect at 7-0, 5-0. "It got a little sloppy toward the end, but we'll pick it up and be ready to make a good run in the playoffs."
Tumpane caught 8 passes for 162 yards and 3 touchdowns and also scored on a 2-yard run after lining up in the backfield and taking a direct snap. While all of his scores were needed against a determined Marian Central squad, his 80-yard TD catch from Alex Wills in the second quarter really gave the Broncos a spark.
Hurricanes running back Emphram Lee had just tied the score at 14-14 with his second TD of the game, when the game quickly became untied on the very next play from scrimmage. Following a touchback on the kickoff, Wills hit Tumpane in stride over the middle and the receiver outran the Hurricanes defenders to the end zone for an 80-yard score that came 11 seconds after Lee had tied the contest.
"It was a huge momentum shift," said Wills, who connected on his first 10 pass attempts Friday and finished the night 16 of 22 for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, while also running in a fourth score. "I knew that play would work when I saw the safety back so far. The coaches called the perfect play there."
Tumpane's 2-yard run late in the second quarter gave Montini a 27-14 lead at the half, but the Hurricanes did close to within 27-21 in the third quarter and later made it 40-35 on a 10-yard run by quarterback Billy Bahl, who passed for 293 yards while doing his best to keep his team in the game.
"The offense really played well and they kept us in the game. Hopefully we see them again," said Marian Central coach Ed Brucker, whose squad lost to Montini in the playoffs last year after having beaten the Broncos in conference play.
Broncos coach Chris Andriano had no complaints at all about the play of Tumpane and Wills, especially his quarterback's fast start.
"Tyler's a terrific player, isn't he?" he asked. "He can do it all. He can run. He can catch. He can throw it if we need him to. And Alex was on fire at the beginning of the game,"
While Tumpane and Wills were putting up huge numbers on Friday, running back Nick Italia still managed to rush for 92 yards and score as the Montini offense knocked off the Hurricanes in the shootout.