For a week Montini can breathe easier.
The Broncos beat Marmion 21-11 Friday at John L. Duffy Memorial Field in Lombard. Matt Morrissey threw 2 touchdown passes and running quarterback Nick Orlando broke a 45-yard touchdown run.
Every win is crucial for defending Class 6A champion Montini (2-3, 1-1), visiting unbeaten Chicago Catholic League Green foe DeLaSalle next week with Mt. Carmel looming in Week 8.
"The attitude now is keep looking forward, take every week by week," said Montini's Mitch West, whose 23-yard touchdown grab with 24 seconds before halftime gave Montini a 14-3 lead.
"We've got to win out or at least win four of the five to make the playoffs. That's what we're going to do, we're going to get it done," he said.
Marmion (4-1, 1-1) finds itself in new territory.
"Now we taste defeat, and now it's got to hurt between now and Monday, and we get back to work on Monday and see what we're made out of after a loss," said Cadets coach Dan Thorpe.
Montini looked like it scored on its first play, a 40-yard pass to West from Morrissey, but the play was called back on a penalty. No worries, in came Orlando with the fake handoff and touchdown run up the middle. Michael Cooney's kick gave the Broncos the 7-0 lead at 6:40 of the first quarter.
Marmion was effective with Brandon McPherson's short passing game to wingbacks Zach Urwiler and Jeff Haas but had to settle for Conner Hoeft's 27-yard field goal to cut the margin to 7-3 at 11:50 of the second quarter.
The Cadets drove downfield late in the first half, but on fourth-and-14 from Montini's 32-yard line the Broncos' Rian O'Connor intercepted a pass. Orlando and Morrissey combined to go 5-of-5 passing with Morrissey hitting West for the touchdown with 24.6 seconds left before halftime.
"I did a skinny post and I broke it off and I split in between (two defenders). Matt threw a great ball and I was able to dive and catch it," West said.
"That was a huge drive, that was a lot of momentum for us," said Montini coach Chris Andriano.
Montini made it 21-3 on its first possession of the third quarter. Several runs by Will Smith set up Brandon Shilgalis' 23-yard touchdown catch.
Marmion made it 21-11 late in the third quarter, an 11-play drive capped by Haas' 1-yard touchdown run and a conversion pass from McPherson to Nick Auriemma.
The Cadets could not convert on fourth-and-2 from Montini's 31-yard line with 9:31 left to play, and saw their record drop to 1-16 since 2000 against the Broncos.
"Stay hungry," was McPherson's takeaway. "We just came off a big win on Bishop (McNamara). We came in a little too high off that, we thought we ran the world. We lacked a little bit at practice, so we should come back hungry and ready for next week."
"Our backs were against the wall," Andriano said, "and it's the way it's going to be the rest of the way out."