LOMBARD – It was déjà vu all over again for St. Francis Friday night in Lombard in a pivotal early-season Suburban Christian Conference matchup against Montini.
St. Francis entered the showdown with Montini with a 3-0 mark just like last time, but the Broncos thoroughly dominated the contest once again.
This time, St. Francis stayed with the highly touted Broncos for a half, but a few big plays proved to be the Spartans’ undoing in a 30-7 loss, a similar result to last year’s 28-7 game.
“We had a crazy serious week preparing and we had a great week of practice leading up to this game,” St. Francis punter Jack Ahern said. “We just didn’t play well in the second half. We didn’t execute that well today. In the second half, I think we were expecting them to lay over, and they obviously didn’t.”
A couple of big plays by Montini (4-0, 2-0 SCC Blue) – a Leon Thornton III 83-yard touchdown catch and a 92-yard interception return for a TD from Derrick Curry – put the Broncos up 17-0 despite St. Francis having success on the defensive side of the ball.
The Spartans (3-1, 1-1) got the ball to start the third quarter, but a pair of errant snaps over St. Francis quarterback Zach Prociuk’s head pinned the Spartans deep in their own territory.
Montini got the ball back and needed only five plays to go up 23-0 with 9:04 left in the third quarter as Alex Wills found Thornton III for the second of three touchdown catches. Thornton III finished with five catches and 162 receiving yards.
“We were so hyped for this game – our captains came into the locker room and fired us all up,” Thornton III said. “Alex and I work on our chemistry together in practice. Ever since he transferred last year, we just had that chemistry.”
Offensively, St. Francis had no answer for Montini’s enormous defensive front led by Ohio State recruit Dylan Thompson. Thompson helped limit St. Francis running back James Butler to 95 yards on 25 carries.
“They are a really good football team and you just can’t spot a team like that 14 points early,” St. Francis coach Greg Purnell said. “In the second half, we were just really mistake prone, and we have to clean that up.”
Trying to work around the big plays, the St. Francis defense got enough stops to keep the Spartans in the game well into the third quarter. After forcing a Montini three-and-out, Thomas Petrando recovered a fumble on Ahern’s punt that gave St. Francis great field position.
But, a trio of Butler runs went nowhere before a Prociuk pass fell incomplete on fourth down, turning the ball back over to Montini.
On the ensuing drive, Wills hit a streaking Thronton III for a 45-yard touchdown strike that was the third hookup between the duo to make it 30-0.
Clint Bobowski scored from five yards out to finally put St. Francis on the board.
Wills finished 15 for 20 for 231 yards and three touchdown tosses.
MONTINI 30, ST. FRANCIS 0
Montini 7 9 7 7 – 30
St. Francis 0 0 0 7 – 7
HOW THEY SCORED
MO – Thornton III 83 pass from Wills (Weissenhoffer kick), 2:12
MO – Curry 92 INT (kick blocked), 11:45
MO – Weissenhoffer 45 FG 0:00
MO – Thornton III 11 pass from Wills (Weissenhoffer kick), 9:04
MO – Thornton III 45 pass from Wills (Weissenhoffer kick), 10:12
SF – Bobowski 5 run (Hart kick), 0:11
RUSHING – Montini: Italia 11-59, Wills 7-24, Savain 5-41, Norgle III 3 minus 7, Pope 1 minus 8. Totals: 27-109. St. Francis: Butler 25-95, Prociuk 10 minus 3, Fassnacht 5-14, Connelly 1 minus 6, Bobowski 2-28. Totals: 44-128.
PASSING – Montini: Wills 15-20-261, Norgle III 1-1-19. St. Francis: Prociuk 4-10-1-53, Bobowski 1-1-4.
RECEIVING – Montini: Tumpane 6-43, Brachmann 3-26, Thornton III 6-162, Pope 1-14. St. Francis: Zito 1-18, Jackson 1-4 Butler 1-28, Dama 1-3, Ahern 1-4.
TOTAL YARDS – Montini 389, St. Francis 185