Strong defense and some timely offense helped the Montini Catholic football team defeat the host Hudson Raiders 22-7 this past weekend in front of a large crowd in northwest Wisconsin. Montini received the opening kickoff, as Hudson won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Broncos needed only four plays to score, as quarterback Deontay Bell found Nick Wind in the corner of the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown pass. Two plays earlier, Wind had tossed an 18-yard completion to Bell off a Paul Flicek reverse. Aaron Stevenson’s extra point gave Montini a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

Following the opening drive, Montini’s offense entered a prolonged slump, with a number of penalties and turnovers. The Broncos fumbled four times and lost one, which led to Hudson’s only score when Raider quarterback Owen Anderson found Cade McDonald in the end zone on a fourth-and-goal play. Both teams traded interceptions in the second quarter; Bell was picked off by Brandon Moeri to halt a drive, but two plays later, Brandon Liston hit Anderson as he released a pass, which landed in the arms of Montini’s Trevor Swier.

Tied 7-7 at half, Hudson marched 65 yards on the opening possession, but on second and goal, Patrick Peters forced a fumble which Swier recovered. Although Montini was forced to punt on the ensuing possession, Nick Mudd’s punt bounced several times and was downed at Hudson’s own 5-yard line. The Raiders subsequently punted, and Montini finally broke through on offense with CJ Bufkin’s 13-yard touchdown run early in the fourth. The Broncos added another score halfway through the quarter on a 17-yard run by DiAndre Harris, and Wind scooped up a bad snap on the extra point try and ran it in for a two-point conversion. Montini stopped the Raiders on one final possession, then ran out the clock for their first victory of 2019.

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Following the game, Coach Bukovsky introduced a very special guest in the post-game huddle. Jaleel Johnson, a member of the Montini Class of 2012 currently playing for the Minnesota Vikings, addressed the team following the game before posing for a picture with the Montini players. A member of the 2011 Class 5A championship team, Johnson played collegiately for Kirk Ferentz at Iowa before getting drafted by the Vikings in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Johnson was inducted into the Montini Catholic Hall of Fame last fall in recognition of his accomplishments on the football field.

Overall, Montini’s defense limited Hudson to just 165 yards of total offense while forcing two fumbles and recording an interception. Five Broncos recorded eight total tackles, while Liston, Peters, and Zeb Nelson all recorded quarterback sacks. Bell and Bufkin led the rushing attack with 124 and 103 yards respectively as Montini rolled up 271 yards on the ground.

In lower-level action, the freshman Broncos scored an impressive road win, defeating Marist 26-20 on Friday night, while the JV Broncos dropped a close contest to the Redhawks on Labor Day by a 17-7 final score. Montini opens the home portion of its schedule this week, hosting Collins Academy at 7:30 PM on Friday. The sophomore Broncos will host Kingdom Prep Lutheran from Wauwatosa, WI, in the preliminary game at 5:30. This week’s theme is a Blackout, with the pre-game Kickoff Party starting at 5:30 by the rock on the east lawn by John Duffy Memorial Stadium.