Montini clinches playoff berth

By Joe Coughlin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/19/2019 12:04 AM

Nothing calms a coach's nerves like a touchdown on the first possession.

Of course a touchdown on the first five possessions is even better.


Montini came out sizzling against visiting DeLaSalle and carried the sizzling start to a 42-0 playoff-clinching sixth football win Friday night in Lombard.

"(The Meteors) were impressive on film from last week. They did an excellent job. … I was worried coming into this game," Montini coach Mike Bukovsky said. "They are explosive and playing for their playoff lives. I told the guys it was important to get a fast start.

… I feel really good about the way we came out."

The onslaught started from the first snap, when Broncos quarterback Deontay Bell sliced through the Meteors defense for 44 yards.

He followed it up with a 19-yard scamper and capped the quick drive with a 2-yard TD toss to C.J. Bufkin.

"That was the game plan," Bell said. "We had scripted plays … and took advantage."

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DeLaSalle had little to no answer for the versatile Montini offense led by Bell, who had 101 yards rushing and 201 yards passing in the first half.

Bell and Bufkin had two rushing scores each in the half -- Bell from 8 and 1 yards out, and Bufkin from 27 and 1 yards out.

Bufkin added a 42-yard burst in the second half to finish with 115 yards on just 7 carries.

Both Bufkin and Bell have nursed injuries this season, and Bukovsky said it was a pleasure to watch two of his standouts healthy and making plays.

"When (Bell's) 100 percent, he's a special player," the coach said. "He showed that tonight. That's very important.

"And C.J., he's just a football player, I mean that as the biggest compliment there is. He said he felt really good today and I was really happy to see that."


Bell connected with seven receivers in the air, with Nate Muersch leading the way with 3 receptions for 92 yards.

The final Broncos score came early in the second half on a 4-yard end around from Jalen McBride.

"We played pretty good. We prepared well and did everything well during the week," Bell said. "It was a big win for us. They had a great game against Mt. Carmel and we came in knowing this wasn't a cakewalk. We had to be prepared. That's what we did and came out with the W."

The Meteors, who fell to 3-5, played with the undefeated Caravan in their 28-21 Week 7 loss.

The 7-point margin was the same losing margin endured by the Broncos (6-2) at the hands of the Caravan in Week 3.

But Montini was ready and not just on offense. Its defense allowed just 46 yards in the first half and forced four three-and-outs.

"They have a lot of formations and a lot of things they can do," Bukovsky said. "Our kids did a nice job handling that and that's where we gotta be.

"I think we were very physical and that started up front. Our inside guys did a really nice job. ... We got a couple stops early and the way our offense was clicking, (DeLaSalle) got behind the 8-ball a bit."

Montini will try to roll the momentum into a season finale with conference foe Providence Catholic (6-2) on Friday night in Lombard.

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