Montini captures fourth straight 5A title

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Montini captures fourth straight 5A title

By Mike Clark
Season Pass

CHAMPAIGN The image conjured up in recent years by the phrase Montini football is probably a long pass to Jordan Westerkamp or Joe Borsellino, or maybe a twisting, weaving run by Dimitri Taylor.

Hard-nosed, defensive-minded play may not be what quickly comes to mind. But it got the job done for the Broncos Saturday morning when they won their fourth consecutive Class 5A state title, 19-6 over Morris at Memorial Stadium.

Taylor ran 74 yards for a touchdown on Montinis first offensive play and caught a 48-yard scoring pass from Alex Wills just before halftime. Otherwise, Montini (12-2) was limited to five field-goal tries by Andrew Harte, two of which were successful.

The difference was a Montini defense that gave up 264 yards, but just one touchdown and that was with 47 seconds left in the game.

It was a marked difference from last years final, when the Broncos won the highest scoring playoff game in state history: a 70-45 shootout with Joliet Catholic when they gave up 515 rushing yards and six touchdowns to Ty Isaac.

Last year the defense didnt do so well, Montini defensive lineman Fred Beaugard said. We knew this whole season we couldnt be like

that. ... We had to step it up.

And the Broncos had to do it against Morris (12-2), which got back to state for the first time since 2007 with a grind-it-out style.

It was a physical game, Morris coach Alan Thorson said. Thats how we played all year. Were a smash-mouth, physical team.

But Beaugard (nine tackles, three sacks) and the rest of the Montini defense kept the Redskins ground game mostly in check. Morris rushed for 179 yards, though 70 of them came on two plays.

That got the Redskins out of their comfort zone, which was the Broncos game plan.

We knew that the key to their offense was running the ball, Beaugard said. We had to get them into a passing game. Once we do that, our defensive backs have the ability to cover their wide receivers.

On the other side of the ball, the Broncos leaned on Taylor (18 carries, 165 yards). His early touchdown ended a Montini trend of falling behind early in the playoffs.

For us to get the lead early was huge, Montini coach Chris Andriano said. I think it got our defense fired up.

Taylor provided another emotional boost with his scoring catch 2:16 before halftime, which put Montini up 13-0. Harte added field goals of 23 and 31 yards in the third quarter to make it 19-0.

Morris got on the board with Zach Cinnamons 33-yard scoring pass to Jeff Perry in the final minute. But it couldnt keep Andriano from becoming the fourth coach to win four consecutive state titles.

Four in a row, Ive got to pinch myself, Andriano said.

Fire fans swarm O'Hare to greet Bastian Schweinsteiger

Fire fans swarm O'Hare to greet Bastian Schweinsteiger

In the age of social media you can track something like Bastian Schweinsteiger's flight to Chicago in almost real-time.

The Chicago Fire publicized Schweinsteiger's Tuesday arrival in Chicago, giving fans details of when his plane was expected to arrive and at what terminal.

First, Schweinsteiger and his former tennis player wife, Ana Ivanovic, both tweeted photos to their millions of followers about their trip.

Once they arrived, the mob scene at O'Hare was on. Schweinsteiger was greeted by hundreds of fans.

Check out the video above for some footage of Schweinsteiger's arrival.

He will be introduced formally with a press conference on Wednesday at 3 p.m. from the Fire Pitch in Chicago. The press conference will air on CSN+ and be streamed live on CSNChicago.com.

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss the latest slump and how much does Artem Anisimov's injury play a role in their struggles?

Konroyd tells us he was surprised by Ryan Hartman's benching in Tampa.

The guys play the game, playoff minutes or press box minutes?  They run through the players who are on the bubble when it comes to postseason play.

They also discuss the Hawks chances of overtaking Washington for the President's trophy.

Plus, Konroyd breaks down possible first round opponents: St Louis, Calgary and Nashville.