After five straight home games to open the season, the Montini football team traveled up to Wilmette last Saturday for a Chicago Catholic League Blue match-up against the Loyola Ramblers. After both teams went three-and-out to start the game, Loyola struck first as Montini quarterback Robert Brazziel lost a fumble in the end zone, which was recovered by Loyola’s Edward Eastman for a defensive score. Following a Montini punt, Loyola would score on the ensuing possession as Trevor Cabanban found the end zone from 15 yards out. On the next possession, Montini was again forced to punt, and returner Jared Lombardi returned the punt 40 yards for a touchdown to make the score 21-0 in favor of the Ramblers only a minute into the second quarter.
Following Lombardi’s punt return touchdown, the Broncos swiftly responded as Nick Fedanzo took the ensuing kickoff 99 yards to the house. The Broncos would make the score 21-14 later in the quarter, as Brazziel found a wide-open Scott West for a 30 yard touchdown pass. Loyola would tack on a field goal before the quarter expired to make the halftime score 24-14. Both defenses would clamp down in the third quarter, but Montini was able to trim the deficit to 24-20 as Brazziel found Nate Muersch for a 35-yard touchdown with under two minutes to play in the frame. The Ramblers added another field goal early in the 4th quarter to increase the lead to 27-20, but Brazziel connected with Muersch for a three-yard touchdown with 5:13 left to cut the deficit to 27-26.
Montini went for two to take the lead, and Brazziel found a open Matt Ross with a short pass. With some help from the offensive line, Ross bullied his way across the goal line to give the Broncos a 28-27 lead. The Ramblers got one more shot with the football and drove all the way to the Montini 36, but quarterback Jack Fallon’s pass on 4th-and-2 fell incomplete, giving the Broncos the ball back with two minutes to play. Zach Olson’s catch of a Deontay Bell pass on 4th-and-2 from the 32-yard-line clinched both the victory and Montini’s 26th consecutive playoff appearance. For the game, Brazziel finished 10-for-16 for 185 yards and three touchdowns, while Fedanzo carried the ball 15 times for 44 yards. Jackson Bruscianelli and DiAndre Harris led the Bronco defense with thirteen total tackles each, while West added an interception and Harris and Cam Richardson each forced a Loyola fumble.
In lower-level action, the sophomore Broncos dropped their contest to the Ramblers 31-7, while the freshman Broncos were defeated by Loyola 55-8. All three levels return to action this week against Fenwick. The sophomore game will kick off at 5:00 on Friday night, with the varsity to follow at 7:30. Both games will be played at Triton College in River Grove. The freshman game will be held at Montini at 9:30 AM on Saturday.