Notre Dame wears down Montini in key division game
Led by an effective running game and a stout defense, Notre Dame wore down Montini on its way to a 28-7 victory Friday night in Niles.
The Dons (6-0, 2-0 CCL/ESC Green) powered their way to 184 yards on the ground, which allowed them to control the tempo of the game, set the tone early and seal their win late. Montini could not find an answer for Notre Dame's two-headed attack of running back Julian Schurr and quarterback Anthony Sayles.
"We knew what their defense could do, they're obviously a good defense, but we just wanted to execute," Sayles said. "If we can execute plays the way we know we can execute them, then we know that nobody can stop us."
Sayles finished the evening 12 for 21 through the air, along with 12 carries that went for 53 yards and a score.
On a night during which both players played a starring role in a Notre Dame win, Sayles and Schurr made a point of recognizing the consistent play of the Dons' offensive line as the reason behind the team's success.
"They played fantastic tonight," Schurr said. "(Montini) had some big kids on their D-line, but I think we held them up very well and our execution was flawless."
Schurr recorded 140 all-purpose yards, including 103 on 24 carries and 37 off of 4 catches. He scored a pair of second-half touchdowns.
Despite the Dons' offensive production, Montini managed to stick with the Notre Dame throughout the first half, as the teams went heading into the locker rooms with only one score separating them.
However, the Broncos were forced to battle on every play and it led to them wearing down late as the Dons took advantage, pulling away as the game went on.
"We saw kids (from Montini) jogging onto defense, they were just worn down, they weren't ready to keep playing," Schurr said. "So we just came out, kept our foot on the gas and kept playing."
Sayles echoed his teammates' thoughts and showed his confidence in the work their squad has put into their conditioning in order to prepare for late season battles like the one that took place this evening.
"The second half was just coming out with more energy," Sayles said. "I think we've got the most energy in the state of Illinois."