LOMBARD – Go for it on fourth down? Sure, why not?
Marmion coach Dan Thorpe made that call early in the third quarter Friday against Montini, a gutsy call that paid major dividends.
On fourth-and-2 from the Montini 26-yard line, senior quarterback Daniel Chung rushed left on a naked bootleg for 10 yards, well enough for a first down. Moments later, senior Anthony Kuceba scampered the final 16 yards for a touchdown to give his team its first lead at 14-10.
The Cadets never looked back, defeating the Broncos 27-10.
“We just put that in this week,” Thorpe said. “We knew they were very aggressive. We knew we had run the ball internally against Bishop Mac. We knew we needed something unique.”
Chung’s run was just a few of the 298 yards the Cadets (3-0) put together on the ground Friday, including 95 yards on seven carries by senior Jacob Bottarini; 10 rushes for 60 yards and a pair of touchdowns by junior Joshua Lim; and another 71 yards on 8 carries by junior Tyler Bradshaw.
All that was thanks to a stout offensive line anchored by two tackles: 325-pounder Matthew Harris and 255-pounder Bo Olsen.
“Our O-line was doing such a good job with the run game, I just figured that if we ran a QB fake that it would be wide open, because they were just playing the run because our O-line was dominating so much,” Chung said of his naked bootleg. “It was just wide open.”
Bottarini said the win was huge because it makes a statement for the rest of the season.
“We can play with anyone we want,” he said. “We can play with the big dogs. This is just a testament to who we are as a team. It was big.”
It was a tough night for Montini (1-2), as the Broncos could only muster 135 yards rushing and just 112 through the air. Junior Josh Robinson led Montini with 63 yards rushing on 19 carries. Sophomore back Alex Marre rushed seven times for 52 yards but severely injured his leg on Montini’s last play from scrimmage, requiring an ambulance.
Junior quarterback Cole Teschner connected with Robinson on the Broncos’ only touchdown, an 8-yard play with 3:50 to go in the first quarter.
“We’re just a very young team and we just need to execute,” Montini coach Mike Bukovsky said. “We came out in the second half and had a silly penalty, total ridiculous situation there, and things get rolling and that seems like who we are this year.
“We’re not competitively mature at this point.”