Montini comeback stuns St. Rita

  • John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comMontini's Charles Bufkin gets past St. Rita's Zenin Hall with the help of blocking from Paul Flicek in a football game in Lombard Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.

    John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comMontini's Charles Bufkin gets past St. Rita's Zenin Hall with the help of blocking from Paul Flicek in a football game in Lombard Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.

 
 
Updated 9/20/2019 11:28 PM

Deontay Bell didn't sound or look like a kid who had just led his football team to a stirring second-half comeback, producing 500 yards total offense himself along the way.

Yet there was the senior Montini quarterback after the Broncos' 45-35 CCL/ESCC Green victory Friday night in Lombard over St. Rita, as even-keeled as Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We were down (11) I think it was at halftime," Bell said. "We just kept fighting. We came out, the defense did a good job making a few stops. We came out put up some points on the board. We just never stopped fighting."

"Deontay is just such a good kid and works his butt off," Montini coach Mike Bukovsky added. "He's very humble. He's a leader. The kids believe in him. You're never out of anything with him because he's such a dual threat."

Montini needed Bell and the offense to step up because the St. Rita offense looked unstoppable in the first half.

"Holy cow, in the first half they gave us more than we could handle, not everything we could handle," Bukovsky said of the Mustangs. "We couldn't contain them on the edges."

St. Rita, ranked No. 5 in Class 5A, took a 35-17 lead on the first possession of the third quarter, and to that point the Montini offense hadn't stopped the Mustangs (1-3, 0-2) on a single possession. But it turned out the Mustangs were done scoring and No. 3-ranked Montini (3-1, 1-1) wasn't.

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Not by a long shot.

"We get a little momentum, we get one stop, and then things start to steamroll from there," Bukovsky said. "It's ugly, but that's what this conference is all about."

Montini scored the next four touchdowns, starting with senior Dan Canty's 8-yard TD catch with 4:03 left in the third quarter.

The Broncos took a 38-35 lead on Bell's 76-yard touchdown run with 11:49 left in the fourth quarter.

"I love my brothers," Bell said. "They never give up."

Neither did he. Bell ran for 183 yards in the second half to finish with 205. He passed for 111 yards in the second half to finish with 295. He passed for 5 touchdowns to four receivers, ran for another. Miami of Ohio-bound receiver Nate Muersch caught 10 Bell passes for 208 yards and 2 TDs.

Bell's performance overshadowed the St. Rita sophomore running back Kaleb Brown, who ran for 205 yards and 2 TDs on 25 carries.

"He's unbelievable," Bukovsky said.

"We've just got to come out and do it again next week," Bell said. "It was a good game, good comeback. We've just got to come out and do it again next time."

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