Montini ready from the first play
That's all it took Montini senior defensive back Devin Hoovel to make his mark in Saturday's Class 5A opening-round football game against Elmwood Park.
Hoovel returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game. It opened the floodgates in the Broncos' 56-6 victory in Lombard.
"We were in a defense where we drop back and I was in zone," Hoovel said. "I saw the quarterback's eyes kind of staring at me, so I did my drop and I saw the ball coming right there and I just took it.
"Everything got started from that. We played well all around, but that just kind of kick-started it."
Montini (8-2) scored on seven of its first eight possessions. Deontay Bell tossed the first of his 2 touchdown passes to Nate Muersch on the Broncos' opening drive to make it 14-0, and on the next play from scrimmage DiAndre Harris recovered a fumble at the Elmwood Park 4-yard line.
The Tigers (6-4) weren't hurt by that turnover because they recovered a Montini fumble in the end zone two plays later, but it was only a momentary reprieve. Were it not for 8 Montini penalties, the visitors would not have crossed midfield all day.
"We had really good scouting over the week, so we knew what to do," Harris said. "It was easy.
"We just had to make the plays that happened when they occurred."
C.J. Bufkin scored on a 1-yard run, Bell found Muersch on a 33-yard scoring strike and Nick Mudd tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Paul Flicek to increase the lead to 35-0 in the second quarter.
Elmwood Park got on the scoreboard when Michael Stranski found Keon Grimes on a 10-yard pass with 1:50 remaining in the first half. But the Broncos got that back on a 6-yard run by Blake Yore -- the third of four Montini quarterbacks -- 20 seconds before halftime.
Nick Wind added an 11-yard touchdown run and Enzo May added a 26-yard scoring run in the third quarter for Montini, which will travel to Sycamore for a second-round game next week.
"In the first half I think we did a lot of good things," Montini coach Mike Bukovsky said. "We've got to clean up some of those silly penalties.
"That was really their offense in the first half and obviously that gave them some life. It's something we've got to be better at, but we survive and advance."