Week 5: Scouting the Chicago Catholic
Montini (3-1, 1-0) at Marmion (4-0, 1-0) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week: Montini 29, Brother Rice 28; Marmion 34, Bishop McNamara 31.
Last year: Montini 21, Marmion 11.
Outlook: Though Marmion's last win over the Broncos came in 2009, this remains a hard-hitting, respectful rivalry. Montini practiced on grass to prepare for the Cadets' Fichtel Field advantage. The Broncos are starting to jell, quarterback Nick Orlando capping last week's game-winning 70-yard drive with a touchdown run and conversion pass to Matt Quaglia. Defensive lineman Jalen Slater and linebacker Jackson Bruscianelli, who averages nearly 15 tackles, are off to a great start. But Broncos coach Mike Bukovsky cautions against Marmion establishing both its bread-and-butter power sweep and Brandon McPherson's passing game simultaneously, aiming to make the Cadets one-dimensional. McPherson has thrown for 579 yards and 8 touchdowns and his 4 touchdown runs are tied with rushing leader Zach Urwiler for the Marmion lead. Montini safety Rian O'Connor's interception sealed last week's win; the senior has a nose for the ball. Like last season, the Cadets are undefeated entering the Chicago Catholic League Green Division opener against the rival Broncos. They hope for a better result this time around, wary of the challenge. Montini has already beaten Fenwick and Brother Rice and its lone setback was a 28-7 loss in Week 2 to Lake Zurich (4-0). Orlando (6-2, 195) last week rushed for 92 yards and 3 touchdowns and threw for 89 yards and another score. With his team trailing Brother Rice 28-21, Orlando led the spread offense on a 10-play, 70-yard, game-winning touchdown drive, which he capped with a 1-yard run with 33.8 seconds left. He then completed a 2-point conversion pass to Quaglia for the win. "We knew they were going to be good because they return so many starters," Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said. "They played a lot of juniors last year so I had them picked first in the league. They're just so fast, physical and they're well coached. I just love what they do offensively and defensively. Their quarterback can run it and throw it. They don't have any weaknesses. Even their kicking game is solid. Whether we're playing a CPS school or Montini, we have to have great effort, great attention to detail, great heart, compete and lay it on the line." Marmion senior quarterback Brandon McPherson is coming off a game in which he completed 20 of 35 pass attempts for 322 yards and 4 touchdowns. He threw 2 touchdown passes to senior Jack Molenhouse (7 rec., 104 yards), another to junior Peter Ferraro (3-136) and a 10-yard, game-winner to senior Zach Urwiler (6-74). Montini is 16-1 against Marmion since 2000.
Next week: De La Salle (3-1) at Montini; Marmion at Fenwick (3-1)
DePaul Prep (2-2) at Aurora Christian (2-2) Game time: 7:30 p.m. Friday
The quick hit: The Eagles stayed within a touchdown of De La Salle (3-1) last week. Aurora Christian defeated the Rams 12-7 last season in Week 5, accounting for one of its two victories.
St. Francis (1-3, 0-1) at De La Salle (3-1, 0-0)Game time: 7 p.m. Friday.
The quick hit: St. Francis is hopeful running back-linebacker Tanner Spinks returns. Defensive end John Vohasek looks to pressure Meteors quarterback Rob Simental. Spartans safeties Noah Salinas and Ben Radel must contend with receiver Frank Ramundo.