Montini’s Dylan Thompson feasts on the competition

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Montini defensive end Dylan Thompson is easy to spot in the halls, but you may have difficulty having a conversation with him.

More often than not, the 6-5, 275-pound senior has his mouth full between classes because lunch lasts all day for him.

A typical day sees Thompson eating two or three eight-inch subs, four peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches, chips and a pop tart.

“I probably go to my locker once or twice a day before or after lunch and I’ll pick up a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich to eat in the hallway,” Thompson said. “Sometimes you just get the munchies.”

Needless to say, it takes Thompson’s mother, Michelle, longer to prepare the feast than it does for him to eat it.

“She’s got that [routine] down,” Thompson said. “She’s the best anyone could ask for.”

All that food allowed Thompson to gain 60 pounds between his sophomore and junior seasons. Now the only things that go down as frequently as those sandwiches are opposing quarterbacks and running backs, who find it hard to get away from the Ohio State recruit.

Going into Saturday’s Class 5A state championship game against Sacred Heart-Griffin, Thompson has 13 sacks and 55 tackles, including 22 for loss, for a defensive unit that allows just 11.1 points per game.

“He’s relentless,” Montini coach Chris Andriano said. “When you’re a defensive end your job is to make tackles for losses. He’s very fast in a small amount of space.”

While extra calories transformed a 160-pound freshman into a mountain of a man, it was acceleration training over the past off-season which changed Thompson from merely large to an explosive force.

“I got so much better over the off-season with my hands, my footwork,” Thompson said. “All I did last year was bull rush. Now I’ve got a really good swim move, I’m really good at the windshield wiper, just throwing the hands, knocking the offensive tackle’s hands down, and it’s been a lot easier getting to the quarterback with that.”

Thompson needs three sacks to equal the single-season school record held by Marty Hyland, who played on Montini’s first state championship team in 2004. Andriano rates him with Garrett Goebel, who was a two-year starter at Ohio State, as the best defensive linemen to come out of Montini.

“Garrett was a little more polished at this age, but Dylan may have a higher ceiling,” Andriano said. “Dylan may end up playing on Sundays.”

For now, the only thing Thompson is focused on is Saturday’s game. A win would give the Broncos their fifth straight state title and first undefeated season.

“I think it would be huge for us but more for Coach A,” Thompson said. “Coach has never had an undefeated season and that’s what we want to give him more than anything else in the world because he’s done so much for us as individuals and as a team.”

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