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With Rhode Back, Montini Rolls Over St. Francis, 33-14

Montini 33 St. Francis 14

Montini Quarterback John Rhode threw three touchdown passes in his season debut as the Broncos defeated St. Francis 33-14 in Lombard Friday night.

Rhode, a senior transfer from Marian Catholic, missed the first five games of the season as he recovered from a broken thumb. Rhode did not see the field in the first half on Friday either because the Montini (4-2, 2-1) coaching staff wanted to work him in slowly.

However, Rhode quickly made an impact once he took the field. Rhode tossed three touchdown passes in the second half, including two to star wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp.

“It was great to see him come in there and play how he played. He’s the player of the game, being able to come off a thumb injury like that and throw the ball like he did, that’s unbelievable,” said the Nebraska-bound Westerkamp.

Montini head coach Chris Andriano said after the game that Rhode will be the Broncos starting quarterback going forward.

St. Francis (4-2, 1-2) held the ball for nearly seven minutes during a 14-play drive to start the game. The Spartans were unable to get any points out of the drive after they turned the ball over on downs deep in Broncos territory.

Montini running back Dimitri Taylor ran 12 yards for a touchdown on the ensuing drive, putting the Broncos up 7-0 late in the first quarter.

Mark Gorogianis handled the quarterbacking duties for the Broncos in the first half. Gorogianis connected with Westerkamp on a five yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter that put the Broncos up 13-0.

On the Spartans first drive of the second half, running back Jack Petrando found the end zone from two yards out, cutting the lead to 13-7.

The Broncos quickly responded on their next drive with Rhode’s first touchdown of the season, a nine yard pass to Westerkamp that put Montini up 20-7.

St. Francis cut the Broncos’ lead to six again early in the fourth quarter after Petrando rushed two yards for his second touchdown of the night. Petrando finished the game with 28 carries for 82 yards and the two touchdowns.

The Broncos were once again able to respond with a touchdown on their ensuing possession. Rhode connected with wide receiver Joe Borsellino on a 23 touchdown pass that put Montini up 27-14 with six and half minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“That was really great to see that we were able to offensively put some stuff together and move the ball and score immediately after they had scored,” said Andriano. “It kept us in that comfortable position. When your offense is able to do that, it’s a real confidence and momentum builder for your team.”

Rhode’s second touchdown pass to Westerkamp, a 22 yard connection, put the Broncos up 33-14 with just two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Westerkamp finished the game with 8 catches for 81 yards and three touchdowns.

SCORING PLAYS

FIRST QUARTER

[2:24] MON Dimitri Taylor 12 yard run (PAT good) – 7-0 MON

SECOND QUARTER

[10:05] MON Mark Gorogianis 5 yard pass to Jordan Westerkamp (PAT no good) – 13-0 MON

THIRD QUARTER

[7:26] SF Jack Petrando 2 yard run (PAT good) – 13-7 MON

[6:35] MON John Rhode 9 yard pass to Jordan Westerkamp (PAT good) – 20-7 MON

FOURTH QUARTER

[8:03] SF Jack Petrando 2 yard run (PAT good) – 20-14 MON

[6:38] MON John Rhode 23 yard pass to Joe Boresllino (PAT good) – 27-14 MON

[2:04] MON John Rhode 22 yard pass to Jordan Westerkamp (PAT good) – 33-14 MON

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Week Six Preview #1: St. Francis at Montini

Montini Star WR Jordan Westerkamp

St. Francis (4-1, 1-1) at Montini (3-2, 2-1), 7:30 Friday night in Lombard

HOW THEY GOT HERE

St. Francis –

Week One: 21-14 win vs Riverside-Brookfield

Week Two: 22-21 win at Vernon Hills

Week Three: 24-6 loss at Marian Central

Week Four: 56-12 win vs Wheaton Academy

Week Five: 58-19 win vs Guerin

Montini –

Week One: 26-21 win vs Palatine

Week Two: 41-24 loss at Loyola

Week Three: 13-6 win vs Marmion

Week Four: 21-20 loss at Marian Central

Week Five: 55-14 win vs Aurora Christian

St. Francis and Montini meet this week in a re-match of last year’s first round playoff game that saw Montini hold on for victory on a late goal-line stand. Both squads are fresh off blowout victories last week, and in the case of the Spartans, the last two weeks.

Montini, the two-time defending 5A State Champions, came out of the gate slow, starting just 2-2. The offense, which has been without starting QB John Rhode so far, had trouble getting off the ground until last week when they put up 55 points on Aurora Christian. With Rhode expected back this week, the Broncos hope to build off last week’s offensive explosion. It will be interesting to see how much the Broncos use their “JoeCat” offense with Rhode back behind center. Montini has had a lot of success the last couple weeks when they have put WR Joe Borsellino at QB. Borsellino had 152 yards of total offense and scored four touchdowns (he scored them three different ways: he ran for two, threw for one and caught another) last week against Aurora Christian. The “JoeCat” offense also sparked the late 4th quarter touchdown drive that gave the Broncos the lead over Marmion in week three. With his starting QB back in the lineup, Nebraska-bound WR Jordan Westerkamp should be even more dangerous this week. Westerkamp recently set the state record for most touchdown receptions in a career.

St. Francis has used a bruising, clock-eating offense on their way to a 4-1 start this season. RB Jack Petrando leads the way for a group of runners that tallied 408 rushing yards last week against Guerin. Petrando makes an impact on offense and defense. In the Spartans’ 56-12 victory over Wheaton Academy in week four, Petrando rushed for 124 yards and 4 touchdowns on offense while also returning an interception 69 yards for a touchdown on defense. The Spartans will try to control the game Friday night with their running game. The more clock their offense is able to eat up, the less time Westerkamp and the dangerous Montini offense will have on the field. Marmion executed this strategy against Montini in week three. The Cadets held the ball for the majority of the game, but they were unable to cash in on their long drives with touchdowns and lost 13-6. I believe St. Francis will have the same success at controlling the game with their running game, and unlike Marmion, the Spartans will end at least a couple of their drives with touchdowns.

PREDICTION: St. Francis 28 Montini 24

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Let Conference Play Begin: Marmion at Montini Preview

Marmion (1-1) at Montini (1-1), Friday Sept. 9 7:30 pm, Lombard, IL

Photo from Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

MARMION:

Game 1: 36-7 loss at Batavia

The Cadets season got off to a rough start with a 36-7 beating at Batavia on Aug. 26. Marmion had an awful first half, turning the ball over six times on their way to a 30-0 halftime deficit. The Cadets had an incredibly difficult time throwing the ball. They had four different players attempt a pass, and combined their pass-throwers completed as many passes to fellow Cadets as they did to the defense (four). Marmion’s lone score came on a 77-yard run by running back Garret Becker after the game had already been decided.

Game 2: 6-0 win versus Fenwick

The Cadets recovered from their week one beating with a 6-0 win in a defensive grinder with Fenwick. Once again, the Marmion offense struggled, scoring only one touchdown. However, the 6-yard run by running back Kyle Kozak was all the Cadets needed. The Cadet defense came out strong to start the game, allowing Fenwick to gain only two total yards and no first downs in the first half. Marmion held the ball for 19 of the game’s first 24 minutes. The Cadets held on in the second half, stopping a couple of long Fenwick drives before the Friars could reach the end zone. Marmion ran 47 plays to Fenwick’s 31, and out-gained the Friars 165 yards to 59 yards.

Photo from Tracy Allen~for Sun-Times Media

MONTINI:

Game 1: 26-21 win versus Palatine

Montini, the two time defending Class 5A champions, did more than hold their own against Class 8A, defeating the Pirates 26-21 in Lombard on Aug. 26. Running back Dimitri Jones ran for 160 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, stealing some of the spotlight from usual Bronco star wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp. The Nebraska-bound Westerkamp did have a solid game, catching 5 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Mark Gorogianis, filling in for the injured John Rhode (fractured right thumb, expected to miss three more weeks) was 13-for-24 for 134 yards, one touchdown and 3 interceptions.

Game 2: 41-24 loss at Loyola

Westerkamp had an outstanding performance, but it wasn’t enough to beat Malcolm Weaver and Loyola, as the Broncos lost 41-24 to the Ramblers. The 6-1, 200 lb. Westerkamp was double covered on nearly every play but still collected 7 catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns. However, the Broncos could not stop Ramblers quarterback Weaver, who was 21-for-29 for 246 yards and 5 touchdowns. Weaver also had 100 yards rushing and one touchdown on 15 carries.  Gorogianis improved his play, completing 16 of his 29 passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns, and perhaps most importantly, no interceptions.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR ON FRIDAY

Marmion has to do two things if they have any chance of knocking off Montini Friday night, and neither will be easy. First, the Cadets must improve their offense which has only produced six total points through two games. They were able to control the time of possession last week against Fenwick, which was a step in the right direction, but they only found the end zone once. Secondly, Marmion has to contain Jordan Westerkamp, which is much easier said than done. With their meager offense, the Cadets can’t afford Westerkamp to go off like he did last week against Loyola (7 recs, 135 yds, 3 TDs). The Cadets don’t have a playmaker like Loyola’s Malcolm Weaver to offset Westerkamp’s production. It will also be interesting to see the progression of Broncos quarterback Mark Gorogianis, now in his third week filling in for injured QB John Rhode. Gorogianis improved greatly from week one to week two, will his improvement continue in week three as the Broncos enter conference play?

PREDICTION

Montini 42 Marmion 7

 

 

 

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