Montini finishes season with loss to Joliet Catholic
Joliet Catholic finished an unbeaten 9-0 regular season Friday when it defeated Montini 44-28, but the Hilltoppers know there is more work to do with the playoffs looming.
"I'm excited to see these guys back in the playoffs after they didn't get to experience the playoffs in the spring," Joliet Catholic coach Jake Jaworski said. "They've been chomping at the bit to get to this point. It's been a long season. We've battled through some injuries and adversity, but now is the time when they leave their legacy here."
The Broncos, who finished the season 3-6, struck first when quarterback Cole Teschner hit senior receiver Estevan Moreno with a 74-yard touchdown pass. The extra point by Colin May made it 7-0.
"We had the play in our script. We knew we were going to run it first. We knew their cornerbacks and safeties were going to bite," Moreno said. "I caught it, broke two tackles and just kept going. It was a pretty fun first play."
The Hilltoppers scored the next 27 points to take a 27-7 lead.
Running back Vinny Iannantone scored on a 1-yard-run with 8:12 to play in the first quarter. Senior running back Jordan Anderson added the next three scores with a 7-yard run, a 5-yard run and a 17-yard reception from quarterback Aidan Voss.
Voss, who left last Friday's game against Benet with an injury, looked fine. He was 7 of 10 for 137 yards, and he rushed five times for 43 yards.
"He's one of the most competitive guys I've ever coached," Jaworski said. "Coming back from the injury last week he's one of the toughest guys I've ever coached. He's a special player and a special kid. He's a leader on our team."
Montini added a score to make it 27-14 with 2:15 to play in the second quarter before Joliet Catholic kicker Patrick Durkin kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to make it 30-14 at halftime.
Anderson capped off a 9-play, 76-yard drive to open the third quarter with a 3-yard scoring run. He added a 19-yard scoring run with 2:31 to play in the third quarter to put the Hilltoppers ahead 44-14.
The Broncos finished the game by scoring 14 points. Junior running back Josh Robinson scored from 4 yards out, and Teschner found Moreno on a 14-yard pass for the final touchdown of the game.
Anderson finished the game with 148 yards on 18 carries. Iannantone finished the game with 185 yards on 29 carries.
"Everything was working for us -- power, blasts, the passing game, counters. Our offensive line played a great game," Iannantone said.
Iannantone was there in 2018 when his brother, Nick, won the state title. He's hoping for the same ending in the Hilltoppers' "second season."
"We were on that team as freshmen, and we saw them grow and how they were underdogs and no one believed they could do it. We wanted to be just like them when we were freshmen. We've always talked about how we want to go to state and how we want to win it," Iannantone said.
"The job is not done yet. We're going into the second season hoping to finish it out."