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Marian Central held Montini's offense in check during an October regular-season game as they cruised to a 25-point win.
So the Broncos knew they needed to add some wrinkles to the offense as they prepared for their Class 5A state quarterfinal playoff game against the undefeated Hurricanes.
Mark Gorogianis wound up being the most important change. The senior wide receiver scored five touchdowns as an option quarterback to power the visiting defending Class 5A state champion Broncos over No. 11 Marian Central 42-27 Saturday in Woodstock.
Gorogianis rushed for 241 yards on just eight carries.
Montini advances to a state semifinal rematch with Joliet Catholic, the team they defeated in last year’s state title game.
"Alex (Wills) was the starting quarterback and I was just going to go in for some running things," Gorogianis said. "I did not expect that many touches. I thought we'd be throwing the ball more but the run was open and we just took advantage."
The first half was dominated by big plays and back-and-forth action. Marian Central (11-1) stormed out to a 14-0 lead. Chris Streveler tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Ephraim Lee on fourth-and-goal with 5:29 to play in the first quarter.
The Hurricanes wasted little time capitalizing after a Montini fumble at its own 12-yard line. Lee took the handoff on the next play and raced into the end zone with 4:29 remaining in the first quarter.
The Broncos (10-2) responded on its next series taking just four plays to go 81 yards for a touchdown. Operating in the shotgun, Gorogianis took a direct snap and broke 24 yards for the score with 2:46 left in the first quarter. After Montini forced a Marian Central punt, Gorogianis scored again from 28 yards with 8:29 remaining in the first half.
Streveler gave Marian Central a 21-14 advantage after a one-yard touchdown run with 1:52 to play in the first half.
The Broncos quickly drove down the field and tied things up at 21-21 on a 26-yard pass from Wills (6-for-8, 100 yards) to Dimitri Taylor (17 carries, 90 yards) with just 33.1 seconds left in the first half.
With Montini's 'wrinkle' working so well, the offense stuck with it in the second half and it paid dividends, resulting in a pair of third quarter touchdowns by Gorogianis. The 6-foot senior scored on a 50-yard run with 11:10 left and then from two-yards out with 2:02 remaining.
The Hurricanes got back in the game after Streveler hooked up with Trent Faunce for a two-yard touchdown on a slant pass with 5:51 to play in the fourth quarter. The blocked extra point kept the Broncos lead at 35-27.
Montini sealed the win with Gorogianis' fifth touchdown, this one from 18 yards with 3:34 to play.
Streveler, a Minnesota recruit wrapped up a fantastic high school career by completing 25 of 40 passes for 253 yards. He also had 19 carries for 118 yards.
"They just played better than us today," Streveler said. "They threw us a couple curve balls we weren't expecting. But I'm so proud of these guys. They're my brothers."
Montini dedicated the win to the memory of sophomore Johnny Weiger, who passed away on Sunday after complications following a long battle with Leukemia.
"I think we had a 12th man on the field and his name is Johnny Weiger," Gorogianis said. "He definitely helped us win this game."