Pickering sparks Montini to win over Notre Dame

Updated 4/1/2021 11:24 PM

Brett Pickering did not expect to get in a game this season, or Thursday night.

Injuries have necessitated that Pickering, the third of Montini's sophomore quarterbacks, to be thrust into action. He's not even 100%, dealing with a hip injury.


But he was stood tall when it mattered.

Pickering's 21-yard touchdown pass to Mario Florio with 44.6 seconds left was the difference as the Broncos beat Notre Dame 7-0 in a matchup of previously 0-2 teams.

Pickering, 9-for-13 for 137 yards in relief of Cole Teschner, who left the game late in the first half with a leg injury and returned for just one series in the second half, directed an eight-play, 84-yard drive that started with 2:43 left and the two teams seemingly headed to overtime in a game dominated by the defenses.

Pickering was 3-for-5 on the drive with completions to Trey Barrett, Mingo Nixon and Florio, the touchdown on a deep post.

"We knew we needed a score," Pickering said. "I knew I had my coaches by side, my teammates by my side and my coaches by my side. With them it allowed it to happen."

Montini (1-2), which avoided its first 0-3 start since 2002, lost starting quarterback Tre Jones to a finger injury in the last week, and Teschner hurt his leg running for a first down late in the first half. Notre Dame, likewise, has played three quarterbacks this season with multisport standout Anthony Sayles not playing this spring.

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The two teams combined for six turnovers in the first half -- Montini had four of them -- and traded 10 punts in the second half.

Montini senior Jalen McBride, who earlier caught a spectacular 42-yard catch from Pickering and also intercepted two passes, was part of a defense that stuffed Notre Dame on three fourth downs inside Broncos' territory. The third was a fourth-and-goal in the second quarter.

"I have to give all thanks to my guys," McBride said. "We played with energy tonight and I just fed off them. We had one heck of a game. We just stuck together. We knew it would be a dogfight."

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