Montini wasted no time in showing why it is the top-ranked team in Illinois, scoring three first-quarter touchdowns on its way to defeating Aurora Central Catholic 47-0 Friday night in Aurora.
The Broncos scored all 47 points in the first half led by quarterback Alex Willis, who finished with 137 yards passing and two touchdown passes after playing just one half of football.
"This was a good test for us heading into the playoffs next week," Willis said. "ACC is a great program and they keep getting better every season, so it's an honor to play them, so I think we can take a lot away from this game on our way into the playoffs."
Montini (9-0, 6-0) scored in four plays on their first possession. Willis hit Leon Thornton III for a 32-yard gain to move the ball inside the 25-yard line. After a penalty backed the Broncos up 10 yards, Willis connected with Tyler Tumpane for a 17-yard gain, and a 10-yard run by Nicholas Italia on the next play quickly put the Broncos on the Chargers' 6-yard line. Willis then hit Stephen Dennis for a 6-yard touchdown.
Aurora Central Catholic (6-3, 4-2) was unable to advance the ball on their next possession, and matters got worse when their punt bounced backward for a net loss of 13 yards to give the Broncos the ball on the 9-yard line. Willis threw a touchdown pass to Tumpane 7 seconds later for a 13-0 lead.
The Broncos made it 20-0 on their next possession. Starting once again with great field possession at their own 44-yard line, Thornton found the end zone on a 14-yard run up the middle to close out the first quarter, and it was soon 27-0 when freshman Prince Walker cut and slashed his way to a 48-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter.
Facing third-and-11 from their own 19-yard line, the Chargers were forced to throw, and Mike Maduko intercepted an overthrown pass and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown and a commanding 34-0 lead.
"I saw the quarterback's eyes and just broke on the ball," Maduko said of his interception. "I caught it in my right hand and took off down the sidelines. I knew I had to beat two guys and I beat them."
Italia scored from 5 yards out, and Tumpane ran it in from 13 yard out to close out the scoring for Montini.
Broncos coach Chris Andriano saw this matchup as a good test for his team against a quality opponent as they head into the state playoffs.
"It was a great game for us and our kids," Andriano said. "We had a really good week of practice. We did not take this game lightly because they have a very good football team. They did some very impressive things to us last year. I thought we played a very solid first half, so now we're ready to head into the second season."
Chargers coach Brian Casey gave his team two alternatives after the loss, and challenged his team to come out next week even stronger for having the experience.
"We knew what we were getting ourselves into," Casey said of playing against Montini. "They're a very good football team, and I think we came out here tonight and competed. I don't think we quite played the way we were capable of and I definitely think we can do some things better. But our options are limited because one way or the other we have to play next week. We can either tuck our tails and fade away or fight, and we're going to fight. This (Montini) was arguably the best team in the state, so nobody we play next is going to play like this."