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Montini's James Maloney celebrates his interception sealing in the final seconds sealed the Broncos' 31-27 win over Aurora Christian Friday in Lombard. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Montini football coach Chris Andriano said senior receiver Joe Borsellino is the most competitive kid he thinks he’s ever coached.
In the Broncos’ thrilling 31-27 Suburban Christian Blue win over Aurora Christian Friday, Borsellino showed why.
Montini coughed up a 24-6 lead — with Aurora Christian taking a 27-24 lead late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had the ball and were looking to put the game away when Borsellino took over.
He stripped Eagles running back Joel Bouagnon at midfield with 2:04 left and hung on to the recovery amongst a crazy pile of bodies to give Montini a chance. Then four plays later, he made a dazzling 19-yard touchdown catch that proved to be the game-winner.
“I saw the ball in the air and I knew I had to get that foot down if we wanted to win this game,” Borsellino said of the winning touchdown. “I did. It was a great play.”
The comeback was necessary because of Aurora Christian’s own comeback in the second half. Montini (6-2) held a 14-6 lead at the half and added on to it with a 29-yard touchdown run from quarterback Mark Gorogianis and a 43-yard Andrew Harte field goal in the third quarter.
That’s when Aurora Christian (7-1) made its move. Bouagnon was bottled up most of the night, but he broke loose for a 22-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 24-12. Then kicker Trevor Hills executed a perfect onside kick, recovering it himself to give the Eagles the ball right back.
“They really pulled a good one there,” Montini coach Chris Andriano said. “They executed the thing perfectly. It really did change momentum, because they were back in the hunt.”
Quarterback Ryan McQuade snuck in from a yard out on the ensuing drive to cut the lead to 24-20. After forcing a three-and-out, the Eagles then took their first and only lead of the game on a 12-yard touchdown pass from McQuade to Brandon Mayes with 3:48 left.
“When they scored twice in a row, that’s hard to come back from,” Mayes said. “Trust me, I’m a winner. I want to win. I’m going to give you everything until the last down.”
On Montini’s next drive, Noah Roberts came up with an interception to give the ball back to Christian, but two plays later, the lost fumble gave the ball right back to Montini.
“I just grabbed the ball and pulled it out,” Borsellino said of the fumble. “It came right out. It popped right to me and I just jumped on it. Under that pile was crazy. Everybody was pulling, but I wasn’t letting go of that ball for anything.”
The Eagles drove to the Montini 35-yard line on the final drive of the game, but McQuade was picked off in the end zone with two seconds left to clinch the win for the Broncos.
“I think we beat a really good team,” Andriano said. “They’ve got some real talent. I wouldn’t want to be in 3A and have to play those guys. They’re going to be very tough. Somebody will have to play a perfect game (to beat them).”