Lombard (Montini) (13-0) vs. Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) (13-0) at DeKalb (Huskie Stadium) (map), Sat., Nov. 30, 10:00 a.m. on Comcast SportsNet.
When Montini Catholic has the ball: The Broncos will look to spread teams out just like Sacred Heart-Griffin (SHG) and is capable of beating teams with the pass or the run in 2013. Senior quarterback Alex Wills (2,721 yards passing 25 touchdowns) leads the passing game and will look towards a very solid group of receivers and backs. Keep an eye out for junior wide receiver Leon Thornton III (966 yards 13 touchdowns) along with senior Tyler Tumpane (866 yards 10 touchdowns) and senior running back Nico Italia (723 yards 9 touchdowns). Senior linebacker Nile Sykes has been brought in at times at running back and provides a big back look for the diverse Broncos offense.
When Sacred Heart Griffin has the ball: The Cyclones have the state's most productive offense in 2013, having posted an amazing 706 points in 13 games this season. Junior quarterback Gabe Green (3,126 yards 34 touchdowns) has been sensational in 2013 and Green's main target is Illinois verbal commit senior wide receiver Malik Turner (1,311 yards 22 touchdowns) along with senior wide receiver Nate Lowis (900 yards 10 touchdowns). Sophomore running back Sam Sergent (652 yards rushing 12 touchdowns) also gives the Cyclones offense balance with a running attack. SHG can and will run several different looks and formations and Hall of Fame coach Ken Leonard isn't afraid to roll out a trick play.
Players to Watch:
Montini Catholic: QB Alex Wills/DL Dylan Thompson
Sacred Heart Griffin: QB Gabe Green/WR Malik Turner
Key match-up to watch? The SHG offense versus the Montini defense. The only team that was able to put pressure on the SHG offense in 2013 was Class 4A power Rochester, who beat the Cyclones in Week 2. Montini's defense has been battle tested yet will need a huge game here. Can the Broncos defense get pressure and force SHG into some three and outs? The Montini defense will also need to avoid allowing the Cyclones offense from getting the big play, again easier said than done.
Did you know? SHG and Montini played each other every season from 2009 through 2002. The Cyclones won every year from 2002 through 2006 while the Broncos won each meeting from 2007 through 2009.
Prediction: Montini Catholic 34, SHG 31
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