Montini scores comeback win vs. Brother Rice
When it started its final drive of Friday night's football game, Montini hadn't had a first down since the first play of the second half.
"I know," Montini coach Mike Bukovsky said with a laugh. "I was well aware."
So naturally the Broncos knew they were going to score the game-winning touchdown and 2-point conversion.
"Yes, sir," said Montini quarterback Nick Orlando, who scored that touchdown and threw for the 2-point conversion with 33.8 seconds left in the Chicago Catholic League crossover game.
Montini came from behind to defeat Brother Rice 29-28 in Lombard, avenging last year's 42-7 loss to the Crusaders (1-3).
"We were struggling the whole way, but I told the offensive line, give me some time, and they did," Orlando said of the final drive.
The Broncos (3-1) took over at their own 30-yard line with 2:30 to play, having seen a 21-10 halftime lead become a 28-21 deficit.
The winning drive started with an incomplete pass, but 10 plays and 6 first downs later, Orlando found a gap for a 1-yard touchdown run.
He threw to receiver Matt Quaglia for the 2-point conversion.
"Matt Quaglia made a (heck) of a catch," Orlando said.
And there was never any doubt the Broncos would go for the 2-point conversion and the win.
"It's always a Montini tradition that we always just go for the win," Orlando said. "I knew right before that drive, I went up to my coach and said, hey, if we score here we're going for 2 and we'll win this game."
"If I didn't go for 2 with (retired coach Chris Andriano and retired assistant Lewis Borsellino) over there (on the sideline) and those guys, I wouldn't have gotten out of here alive," Bukovsky, a first-year head coach, joked. "Somebody asked me over the headset and it wasn't even a decision."
Rian O'Connor intercepted Brother Rice's deep pass on the Crusaders' first play after the winning touchdown, putting the game away.
"This is a huge win," Orlando said. "They're a (heck) of a team. They're 1-2 -- 1-3 now -- but we knew that they played two really good teams Weeks 1 and 2 and we knew that this was going to be a big win for us."
Orlando ran for 3 touchdowns in the game and threw to Quaglia for another. He finished with 92 yards rushing and 89 yards passing.
"Very special," Bukovsky said of the win. "The kids did just a fantastic job. It wasn't pretty all the time. I thought we really outplayed them in the first half and then they turned the tables on us in the second half. We rebounded and made some plays at the end. Our kids are resilient."