High-powered Montini offense too much for Geneseo

SHARE High-powered Montini offense too much for Geneseo

The Broncos are heading back to a familiar place. Montini will play for a state title for the sixth consecutive year.

Led by Senior quarterback Chuck Norgle, who passed for 361 yards and four touchdowns, the Broncos cruised past Geneseo 52-15 in the Class 5A semifinals at Montini.

Norgle connected with junior Tyler Millikan for three touchdowns and 115 yards, as well as senior Leon Thornton for 170 yards and one touchdown.

“He’s becoming the general we know he can be, handling everything under pressure,” Montini coach Chris Andriano said.

The Broncos (10-3) scored on every possession but one and the passing attack caught fire in the first half. Norgle hit Millikan on two consecutive drives for quick slant touchdown passes of eight and nine yards to go up 17-0. Senior kicker Mason Weissenhofer had earlier knocked in a 31-yard field goal.

Geneseo (12-1) senior running back Joey Medina punched in a 5-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to make it 17-7, but the Broncos stamped out any hopes of a momentum swing when Norgle quickly hit a wide-open Millikan on the third play of the drive for an 83-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-7.

Geneseo opted to punt on a fourth-and-5 late in the second quarter after advancing into Montini territory, which led to an 80-yard Bronco drive in less than a minute that ended with a 29-yard touchdown Norgle pass to Thornton, setting the halftime score of 31-7.

Geneseo’s three-man running attack of Medina (73 yards) and seniors Ryan Pitra and Lane Akre was enough to get the Maple Leafs this far, but they faced a stifling Bronco defense, which has been a point of pride for Andriano.

“They’re a one-dimensional team,” he said. “They don’t really pass the ball. Our defense has really stepped up since week eight when we played Fenwick. They’re playing great aggressive football.”

The Broncos, 5A title winners from 2009 to 2012, will face a familiar foe in the championship game next weekend in Champaign. Sacred Heart-Griffin topped Montini in last year’s final and will see the Broncos again after defeating Peoria Central.

“It’s amazing,” said Andriano, of the return to the finals. “It never gets old. Sacred Heart-Griffin is a premier program, so we’ve got to bring our A game.”

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