Montini enjoys a fruitful road trip

  • Montini quarterback Cole Teschner hands off to Josh Robinson Friday against Sterling.

    Montini quarterback Cole Teschner hands off to Josh Robinson Friday against Sterling. Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@shawmedia

  • Sterling's Tommy Tate is pulled down for a loss by Montini's Luke Pacelli Friday.

    Sterling's Tommy Tate is pulled down for a loss by Montini's Luke Pacelli Friday. Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@shawmedia

  • Montini's Mario Florio runs the sidelines for a gain Friday against Sterling.

    Montini's Mario Florio runs the sidelines for a gain Friday against Sterling. Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@shawmedia

By Eric Ingles
Shaw Media
Updated 9/4/2021 12:28 PM

STERLING -- In a game where defense held for most of the evening, Montini's defense came up with big plays on back-to-back downs to secure a 17-10 nonconference win Friday at Sterling.

The Golden Warriors got to the Broncos' 35-yard line with 2:17 left in the game thanks to a toe-tapping catch on the sideline by Tommy Tate for a first down. But after a run for no gain and another Drew Kested pass to Tate for a limited gain, Sterling faced a third-and-9. That's when the Broncos defense stepped up, with Jackson McWhinney sacking Kested on third down, knocking Kested out of the game in the process.


In stepped Sterling sophomore quarterback Garrett Polson to face the fourth-and-15 play for the game, and Luke Cushing flushed him from the pocket and sacked him for the turnover on downs.

"Obviously we knew they had to throw the ball, and obviously on the last down (Kested) went out so they were kind of limited there," Montini coach Mike Bukovsky said. "We got a chance to make a couple changes. But our defense, really two weeks in a row, our defense has played very well. We were very physical tonight. We set the tone early. Our offense struggled a bit to get things rolling after that first score.

"... But it was a hard-fought game. This is a very good program. We have a lot of respect for these people out here. We've played them three times and every single one of these games has been a very good football game."

Montini had scored the first 17 points of the game before Sterling responded, getting a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown from A.J. Kested in the third quarter and a 15-play drive capped off by a 27-yard Luis Diaz field goal with 7:05 left in the game to get the Warriors within a score.

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Sterling (1-1) then stopped Montini three-and-out on the ensuing drive, Tyree Kelly coming up with a key tackle for a loss on second down, and the Golden Warriors had a chance to tie the score, getting the ball back with 5:20 left in the game.

"It all started with a defensive takeaway and A.J. punched it in," Sterling coach Jon Schlemmer said. "I thought our offense did some good things, it's just tough to get it going at times. We've got to get better in the passing game, and we will. I thought our running backs ran hard tonight. I thought our offensive line played well against a really good defensive front. We're going to get better."

Defense dominated the first half on both sides. Sterling had seven first-half possessions, punting six times and having Montini's Deion Manley end another drive with an interception.

The Golden Warriors managed two first downs in the half, gaining 42 yards on the ground and 8 through the air. Four drives went three-and-out, with two of those losing yardage. Sterling reached midfield just twice, despite good field position on several drives thanks to a pair of Montini kickoffs going out of bounds and Sterling starting a drive at its own 44 after pinning the Broncos back on the previous drive and forcing a punt.


Sterling's defense made some stops as well. Josh Robinson had 12 carries for 39 yards in the first half, but other Montini ballcarriers combined for minus three yards on the ground. Four Montini drives ended in punts.

Even after Manley's interception set Montini up at the Sterling 35 to start a drive, the Golden Warriors defense sniffed out a screen pass to stop it for no gain and Anthony Amezola came up with a sack on the next play.

"They played hard," Schlemmer said. "That was a physical game. That was a high-level game. .... I think our kids battled from one to 11. (Sterling defensive coordinator Mike) LeMay, the mentality that dude makes sure our defense plays with is high level. Kudos to them. They've got some really good athletes and they got us on some big ones."

But Montini did break through with a pair of long passes. Cole Teschner hit Julian Turner for a 52-yard touchdown pass over the middle on Montini's second drive of the game. In the second quarter, the two hooked up once again for a 55-yard touchdown pass, making it 14-0 Broncos with 3:46 left in the half.

Sterling's first-half bright spot was punter Yuriy Guerrero, who pinned the Broncos back at their own 4 on one drive and at the two on another. His first six punts yielded 260 yards, with another 50-yard kick wiped out by a motion call.

Montini's ground game got going on the opening rive of the third as a couple of long Alex Marre runs got the Broncos deep into Sterling territory, resulting in a 24-yard Colin May field goal.

Marre finished the game with nine carries for 87 yards.

Antonio Tablante led Sterling with 21 carries for 81 yards. Drew Kested led the Warriors with 59 yards through the air, completing 7 of 11 passes.

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