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In the midst of Broncos' reign

Morris plays Montini in the Class 5A State championship on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
Morris plays Montini in the Class 5A State championship on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

They have won three straight state titles and have lost one playoff game in the last five seasons - posting a 17-1 record in the postseason in that span. Twice they defeated Joliet Catholic Academy for the IHSA Class 5A championship.

They, of course, are the Montini Broncos and that is who the Morris football team will be trying to defeat for the Redskins' fourth title ever in the sport.

"Montini is a really good team, obviously," Morris coach Alan Thorson said. "They have won three championships in a row and once again they are good on both sides of the ball."

Which is the reason the Broncos are back in the saddle again in seeking their fifth IHSA title in the last nine years.

When Montini is on Offense

The Broncos are a team out of the Suburban Christian Conference out of Lombard in DuPage County. They have scored 449 points this year and have amassed 4,834 yards in 13 games to this point.

"On offense they have good athletes," Thorson said.

Alexander Wills is listed as the team's starting quarterback according to the IHSA website, but he won't be the only signal caller fans are going to see on Saturday morning.

"They use a three-quarterback system and there are different kids with the ball all of the time," Thorson said.

Wills has done the bulk of the throwing for Montini this year completing 154-of-233 passes for 1,726 yards. The other two quarterbacks are Mark Gorogianis and Jimmy Barron. Gorogianis has completed 31-of-63 passes for 341 yards and Barron 15-of-31 passes for 136 yards.

Gorogianis is the team's second leading rusher with 459 yards in 51 carries and nine touchdowns and he has also caught 47 passes for 541 yards and four more TD through the air.

Joe Borsellino is the team's leading receiver with 66 catches for 725 yards and 14 TD and he has also rushed for 233 yards and five TD in 33 carries.

"They run a spread offense," Thorson said. "It presents a big challenge for our defense."

Dimitri Taylor is the Broncos' leading rusher and has 1,366 yards and 12 TD in 171 carries.

"They have a good running back who is also a very good athlete," Thorson said. "And they have a big offensive line."

The Montini offensive line averages 6-1, 235-pounds across.

When the Broncos are on Defense

Montini runs a 4-3 defense with linebacker Michael Maduko leading the team in tackles with a whopping 130 this fall. The Broncos average 6-2, 254-pounds on the line.

"They are very fast," Morris senior running back Reese Sobol said. "They don't have the biggest defense we've seen but they are fast and they swarm to the ball."

Still, they are not exactly a small team either.

"Their defense is big and physical," Thorson said. "We know they are going to come out and give us a good game, that's for sure."

Montini's defense has allowed 268 points this season and its two losses were to Woodstock Marian (49-24) and Lincoln-Way East (20-14).

Thorson said that his team is going to have to be ready to do whatever it takes to win Saturday's game.

"In the state final game, we're going to do everything we can. We're going to throw the kitchen sink at them if we have to to win the game," he said. "T-(formation) has been there for us all year and that is going to be one of our main offenses but we have to play our game. We can't hold back and we have to go out there and play our best."

Kickoff is set for 10 a.m. in the 5A championship in a game held at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

"We've got to stay focused. We're all going to be pretty hyped up and we're going to have a lot of energy going in," Sobol said. "But we've got to make that a focused energy and leave it all out on the field. We have to hit them hard, but make sure that we're not trying to do too much."

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