Montini blows out Evergreen Park
A week ago, Montini's offense had few opportunities to do anything in the first half in a come-from-behind win over Sycamore.
Saturday's Class 5A football quarterfinal turned out to be a completely different story.
Scoring on their first four possessions, the Broncos jumped out to a big advantage and coasted to a 54-7 road victory against Evergreen Park.
Montini, which ran just six offensive plays in the first half last week, improved to 11-1 and will travel to Sterling at 2 p.m. next Saturday for a semifinal matchup.
"It's an unreal feeling," said senior Zach Olson, who scored on a 44-yard run. "The last time we made it to the semis was in 2015, our freshman year. We knew we were going to have a great group (this year) and we wanted to make it back there."
Quarterback Deontay Bell kicked off the scoring with a 59-yard run up the middle on the visitors' third play from scrimmage.
Then after a short TD run from Nick Fedanzo, Matt Ross hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions -- first a 41-yarder from Nick Wind after a lateral and then a 53-yard screen pass from Bell to make it 27-0 less than 10 minutes in.
"Everybody on our offense was in a good groove," Ross said. "I give everything to our offensive line. They work so hard; honestly everybody works so hard.
"We have a great running back, we have some awesome receivers and our quarterbacks are amazing. And the offensive line just keeps grinding every day."
A 2-yard scoring run by C.J. Bufkin and a 63-hard scamper to the end zone by Fedanzo increased the margin to 48-0 by halftime and brought on the running clock for the final two quarters.
Enzo May added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Montini forced four turnovers in the first half, including an interception by Jermari Harris. Raymond Wojkovich, Cam Richardson and Trevor Swier all recovered fumbles.
"Our defense did a great job," Montini coach Mike Bukovsky said. "That's been a staple of us all year. I think we held them to 2 or 3 first downs in the first half.
"I think this shows the quality team that Sycamore was. We knew last week's game would have major ramifications for this side of the bracket. That turned out to be the case. We thought we had a good matchup this week, but you still have to play them. Evergreen Park has a lot of young kids who will be good football players. They earned this spot."
Evergreen Park (7-5) scored its touchdown on a 46-yard pass from Sean Wilkinson to Karlton Carpenter in the fourth quarter.