Alex Wills’ big night powers Montini past East St. Louis

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Quarterback Alex Wills threw for 160 yards, including five touchdown passes, to fuel No. 5 Montini’s 34-6 victory Saturday over host East St. Louis.

East St. Louis started off the scoring with a 22-yard touchdown reception by Missouri-bound receiver Greg Taylor. But Montini (2-0) answered with 27 consecutive points to take a 27-6 lead into the half.

Two first-half touchdowns came off long passes from Wills — one a 51-yard toss to senior receiver Conner Costello and the other a 38-yard strike to junior Leon Thornton.

“The key was being more physical than them,’’ Thornton said. ‘‘We knew coming in that they had a bigger line than us, and more size than us.”

Senior linebacker Nile Sykes got Montini going in the second half with an interception that led to another Thornton touchdown catch.

“I was just going through my progressions,’’ Sykes said of the interception. ‘‘Our linebacker coach always tells us ‘One, two then you see the ball,’ and I just happened to be in the right spot.’’

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