In their final regular season contest before entering the postseason, the Montini Broncos scored on six consecutive possessions to defeat Providence 41-21 this past Friday night at Duffy Memorial Stadium. Neither team scored in the first quarter despite the Broncos controlling play for much of the period, but Montini struck first with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Deontay Bell to Nate Muersch early in the second quarter. The Celtics missed a 41-yard field goal attempt on their next possession, and the Broncos found the end zone again eight plays later on a 40-yard pass from Bell to Muersch. Providence responded with a short four-play drive capped off by a 17 yard touchdown run by Aaron Vaughn, but with just three seconds left until halftime, Bell connected with Muersch for a 44-yard touchdown to regain the two-score lead going into the break.
The Celtics received the second half kick and needed just eight plays to find the end zone, as Vaughn scored from one yard out for his second touchdown of the night, but Montini answered right back on a 6-yard run by Bell, which was set up by a 51-yard catch-and-run from Bell to CJ Bufkin. After Montini forced a Celtic punt, Bell scored on a 51-yard run to extend the lead to 35-14. Providence responded with another eight-play drive ending in a 12-yard run by quarterback Kevin Conway, and the Celtics attempted an onside kick which was recovered by Montini’s Sonny Ortiz. The Broncos took advantage of the short field, needing just six plays to find the end zone as Bufkin scored on a 28-yard run. Devin Hoovel intercepted Conway on the ensuing Celtic possession, and although the Broncos were forced to punt, the Celtics were unable to advance the ball prior to the final horn.
Bell continued his stellar season by passing for 202 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 127 yards and two scores. Muersch led all receivers with eight catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns as Montini outgained Providence 448-283. DiAndre Harris and Trevor Swier led the Bronco defense with nine total tackles each, while Patrick Peters recorded three tackles for a loss and two quarterback sacks. Montini’s win, coupled with St. Rita’s 7-0 victory over Notre Dame, gave the Broncos a share of the CCL/ESCC Green Division championship, shared with the Mustangs and Dons, as the Broncos finished the regular season with a 7-2 record.
In lower-level action, the combined freshman/sophomore Broncos were defeated by the Celtics by a 14-6 score. Montini now will enter the IHSA Class 5A playoffs and host the Elmwood Park Tigers, who finished the regular season at 6-3. Kickoff at Duffy Memorial Stadium is scheduled for 1 PM on Saturday, November 2nd.