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Montini’s football team may have come away with a 30-22 Suburban Christian Blue win over Marmion Friday, but the feeling after the game was anything but elation.
The three-time defending state champions turned the ball over twice and allowed a one-win Marmion team to have the ball within eight points in the fourth quarter before hanging on for the win.
“Well, we played a very uninspired second half,” Montini coach Chris Andriano said. “I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing in the second half, actually, with our tackling, missed blocks offensively, dropped passes. I have to give their kids credit. They kept playing hard and they kept coming after us. It was a ballgame.”
Montini’s Dimitri Taylor (24 carries, 127 yards, one touchdown) lost a fumble on the third play of the second half, and Marmion (1-4, 1-2) responded with a 13-play, 55-yard scoring drive capped by a 1-yard Mike Montalbano touchdown run to cut the lead to 21-14.
“The momentum changed,” Andriano said. “They got a little fired up.”
Montini (4-1, 3-0) responded with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Alexander Wills to Joe Borsellino and a 24-yard Andrew Harte field goal to seemingly put the game away. But Marmion hung around, cutting the lead to 30-22 with 9:38 left in the game when Charlie Faunce found Montalbano for a 17-yard touchdown.
“A three-time state champion like that, when you’re only down eight in the fourth quarter, it really shows how we should have been playing all season,” Faunce said. “If we continue to play this way the rest of the season, there’s no way we shouldn’t make the playoffs.”
Marmion was unable to score on its next possession and Montini proceeded to run the final 5:38 off the clock for the win. The Cadets now have to win out to qualify for the postseason.
Montini showed flashes of brilliance in the win at times as well. Wills was 28-for-38 passing for 258 yards and three touchdowns. Borsellino caught 12 passes for 121 yards and both of Wills’ touchdowns. Mark Gorogianis caught eight passes for 85 yards.
“We’re so good at times,” Andriano said. “There are times we execute so well. We’ve got some real ability. But there’s something missing. I don’t know what it is, but we have to get to the bottom of it.”