By Dan McGrath
Cole Teschner, a senior three-year starter for Montini’s Broncos, put on a quarterbacking clinic against Leo at St.Rita’s Cronin Field on Friday, Sept. 23.
Darion Lee, a Leo sophomore in his first varsity season, watched closely and nearly matched him throw for throw.
But Teschner was working with more complementary weapons, and that was the difference as Montini improved to 3-2 with a 38-14 victory in a Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference crossover game.
A fourth straight loss dropped the Lions to 1-4.
Teschner completed 15 of 22 passes for 254 yards and four touchdowns, three of them to speedy sophomore BJ Searcy, including a 46-yarder on Montini’s first offensive play of the evening. Exploiting a breakdown in the Leo secondary, Searcy dashed up the field untouched and unencumbered, giving Montini a lead it would never relinquish 2-½ minutes into the game.
Lee was 18-for-31 for 233 yards and two scores, a 19-yarder to senior Coby Triplett and a 26-yarder to junior Dennis Jones, the first career touchdown for each receiver. Triplett finished with a career-best five catches for 66 yards, while fellow senior Merrick Sample caught six passes for 84 yards.
But once again, the absence of a running game—eight carries produced 15 yards—put too much of the offensive burden on Lee. Alternating a strong pass rush with seven and eight-man coverage schemes, the Broncos intercepted him twice and turned both takeaways into points while playing turnover-free football themselves.
Meanwhile, junior running back Alex Marre was an effective counterpoint to Teschner, piling up 94 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Another weapon: kicker Cole Stumbaugh, who booted a 42-yard field goal and five PAT’s while booming four of seven kickoffs out of the end zone.
With four games remaining, Leo faces the daunting prospect of winning out to have a shot at the IHSA playoffs, beginning with a nonconference Homecoming game against Thornton of Harvey on Friday, Sept. 30. Kickoff at St. Rita’s Cronin Field is at 7 p.m.