AURORA – To Cole Teschner, George Asay and Montini, this win was a long time coming.
The Broncos believed they were outphysicaled last season in a 17-point Week 3 loss to Marmion. That defeat was part of a chain of events that led to Montini missing the playoffs for the first time since 1992.
Despite losing a couple high-end talents to transfer, the Broncos are determined to make a return to familiar surroundings.
Friday was a significant step forward.
Teschner threw two touchdown passes to Mingo Nixon, and ran in a third score. Asay ran in a touchdown and set up Teschner’s score with a long run, and at linebacker was part of a dominating defensive performance. Montini put it all together to beat Marmion 26-3 in the CCL/ESCC crossover game in Aurora.
It was the kind of complete win that left veteran Broncos’ coach Mike Bukovsky with a little spring in his step.
“We’ve been waiting for this win for a while,” Bukovsky said. “We struggled last year, we had so many young guys. We really had a great offseason but none of that means anything unless you see results. To do a good job physically against a team that quite frankly beat us up last year, it’s exciting.”
A three-touchdown loss to IC Catholic Prep in the season opener left the Broncos up against it in the playoff picture, with a four-game gauntlet of a schedule to finish the season looming.
But Montini (2-1) has since stacked together emphatic wins over Hillcrest and Marmion.
“Our goal this season is 1-0,” said Teschner, a senior quarterback, who was 7-for-15 for 99 yards. “After this win, celebrate tonight, tomorrow, come ready to work. Every single game on our schedule is a must game if we want to get back to where we’ve been before.”
Asay was part of a Montini backfield by committee Friday, with six backs getting carries. He got the Broncos going with a 24-yard TD run with 4:37 left in the first quarter, bouncing outside and down the left sideline for a 6-0 lead.
“Just trying to set the tone there,” Asay said. “We had to come out and make a statement right away. That run was all about patience. Mingo made a great block for me. Just relying on teammates to help me make plays.”
Two drives later, Asay ripped off a a 50-yard run. It set up Teschner’s 1-yard QB sneak on fourth-and-goal for a 12-3 lead 2:26 before half.
Asay ran for 72 yards on five carries and Alex Marre 64 yards, Montini totaling near 200 yards on the ground.
“Alex and George, those two guys are heart and soul guys,” Bukovsky said. “They both squat close to 600 pounds, they’re absolute weight room warriors, they are two guys who are going to lay everything they can on the field. You got to drive a stake through those guys to stop them. I think that’s the identity of our team.”
Marmion (2-1), barely challenged in winning two non-conference games by a combined 97-0 score, struggled to sustain any offense in its first true test.
The Cadets had two drives inside the red zone end with John Schatteman’s 32-yard field goal, and a missed field goal. Marmion had five fumbled snaps, with its seven other drives ending on four punts, a turnover on downs, interception and the game’s end.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Cadets, with games at St. Ignatius and Marist the next two weeks.
“It’s a wake-up call for sure. This is real football,” said Marmion senior Josh Lim, who ran for 74 yards and had six catches for 60 yards. “With respect to the two teams we played before tonight, they don’t compare to the competition we’re going to see.”
After giving up 35 points in its Week 1 loss, Montini has allowed a combined nine over the last two weeks. Jonathan Goff stuffed Lim for a loss on a third-and-short in the second quarter, forcing the Cadets to settle for Schatteman’s field goal attempt.
Caden Phengkeokaisone intercepted Marmion’s Ryan Prell in the second half.
“We were very happy about our defense coming into this year,” Bukovsky said. “Week 1 we made some mistakes, but we’ve recovered from those.”
Teschner’s 2-yard TD pass to Nixon made it 19-3 with 4:18 left in the third quarter, a play set up by Nixon’s spectacular 33-yard catch with a defender draped all over him on third-and-22. The two later connected on a 35-yard TD late in the fourth quarter.
“Our playmakers made plays,” Teschner said. “That was really big for us.”