Marmion wins a thriller over Montini
Brandon McPherson was not about to be denied.
The Marmion quarterback had bedeviled the Montini defense the entire night of the teams' Catholic League Green football game with his ability to extend plays.
With time rapidly winding down Friday night in Aurora, McPherson bulldozed his way for the final 2 yards with 22.7 seconds remaining.
Michael Noble converted his fourth PAT moments later to give Marmion a 28-27 victory.
It was the Cadets' first win over Montini in eight years; more important, Marmion is 5-0, 2-0 for the first time since 2010.
"All week long in practice my coaches were telling me that I was going to have to use my legs," McPherson said of his second rushing touchdown of the game. "We should have beat them last year. This (victory) is for the guys on the team last year."
Montini (3-2, 1-1) had taken its second lead of the night when Nick Orlando also called his own number to score from 4 yards out with 1:35 to play.
It looked grim for Marmion when McPherson not only lost 12 yards on a sack but was also cited for intentional grounding.
But McPherson connected with Zach Urwiler on a 42-yard bomb down the left sideline with 40.7 seconds to play.
"I trust his arm, and he trusts my speed," Urwiler said of the McPherson throw that gave Marmion first-and-goal at the Broncos' 10-yard line.
McPherson rumbled for 8 punishing yards on first down to set up the game-winning score.
Urwiler also scored the Cadets' first touchdown of the night on a 4-yard run and preserved the Cadets' 7-0 first-quarter lead by recovering a fumble in the end zone on the Broncos' game-opening drive.
"it was definitely a big energy boost," Urwiler said of the critical turnover.
It was the first of several game-altering errors by Montini.
Montini missed a pair of conversion kicks and a 33-yard field goal in the contest.
In addition, McPherson gave Marmion a 14-6 lead heading into halftime with a 4-yard keeper three plays after Jermari Harris' interception was nullified by a defensive foul.
After scoring 14 third-quarter points -- Orlando was masterful during the two scoring drives for Montini -- the Broncos had two long runs, including a potential 76-yard Nicholas Fedanzo touchdown scamper, negated by holding penalties.
Orlando had to leave the field moments later, and Marmion safety Jacob Molenhouse returned an interception 74 yards by the Broncos' backup for a 21-20 Marmion advantage with 6:42 to play.
"We were too undisciplined tonight," Montini coach Mike Bukovsky said. "We missed three kicks we should have made. We had two (defensive) penalties out of bounds. We weren't disciplined to block (on the two negated runs). We left too many things out on the field."