The Montini football team hosted the Brother Rice Crusaders at Duffy Memorial Stadium this past Friday night, with the winner of the contest claiming the Chicago Catholic League Blue championship outright. Before the game, both sides were treated to an elaborate fireworks show that seemed to energize players and fans alike. The first quarter ended with both teams still scoreless, as both the Broncos and the Crusaders struggled to get anything going offensive. The game would remain scoreless until the 8:08 mark of the second quarter, when Rice quarterback John Bean scored on a 39-yard run to put the Crusaders ahead 7-0. Two possessions later, Montini quarterback Deontay Bell lost a fumble deep inside Bronco territory, and the Crusaders capitalized on the next play when Bean found Dylan Summers for a 8-yard touchdown pass.

Down 14-0 at the start of the second half, the Broncos used a 42-yard run from Bell to get to the Crusaders’ 23-yard line, but Robert Brazziel threw an interception in the end zone to end the drive. Brother Rice responded with a 14-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard Bean touchdown run to push the lead to 21-0. Brother Rice would score twice more, on a 31-yard field goal and another rushing touchdown from Bean. The Crusaders’ defense bottled up Montini’s offense all game, as the Broncos only totaled 117 yards of total offense. Running back Nick Fedanzo was limited to 22 yards on 15 carries, while Bell carried the ball 10 times for 82 yards. Jackson Bruscianelli paced the defense with 17 total tackles, while Trevor Swier added 12 and Jermari Harris had 10.

In lower-level action, the combined freshman/sophomore Broncos team was shut out by the Crusaders by a 40-0 score. Montini now will enter the IHSA Class 5A playoff field as the #4 seed in the northern bracket. The Broncos will host #13 Woodstock North on Saturday at 1 PM at Duffy Memorial Stadium.