CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Drama was a fixture in Montini’s run to a state championship a year ago.
From an up-and-down regular season, to sneaking into the playoffs with the minimum amount of wins, to pulling off a comeback victory in the final seconds of the state title game, nothing came easy for the Broncos last season.
This season proved to be the exact opposite -- except it still ended with Montini a champion.
It all came a lot easier for the Broncos this time, as they cruised to a 34-21 victory over Chatham Glenwood in the Class 5A state championship game on Saturday at Memorial Stadium, closing out the season on a 12-game winning streak.
“The walk was definitely better,” Montini senior defensive lineman Zech Tredenick said. “There was less conflicts through the season, and it was a little bit more smooth of a ride to the championship. It just feels amazing. There’s nothing more to say about it.”
Tredenick and the Broncos’ defense set the tone for that feeling against Glenwood (10-4). Montini’s defense forced and recovered three fumbles in the opening quarter, and the Broncos (12-2) capitalized by going ahead 21-0 before the second quarter even arrived.
“The first quarter, the turnovers really got us going,” Montini coach Chris Andriano said. “We were so fired up on the sideline. It seemed like every time we hit them hard it came out and we right there to pounce on it. We built the momentum on that.”
Tredenick was a force on the line throughout the game. He set Class 5A championship game records with four sacks and six tackles for a loss.
“Let’s just say I saved the best for last,” Tredenick said. “It’s just a dream come true to be up here, have such a game. As a little kid, you dream about this stuff, and it’s just unbelievable. Unbelievable.”
The cousin duo of quarterback Matt Westerkamp and wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp did the rest. The Westerkamps hooked up seven times for 146 yards and three touchdowns.
Jordan Westerkamp continued to show why he’s among the state’s top receivers. He caught passes in traffic. He caught wide-open ones. He made the easy catches. He made the hard ones. His highlight was an over-the-shoulder grab while streaking to the back of the end zone for a score.
“Usually you got to deal with a guy who is a halfback, or a quarterback who has several options,” Glenwood coach Dan Rourke said. “He’s just an outstanding football player. I know he’s already looking at some real big schools.”
Illinois is among the schools after the junior wide receiever and, for the second consecutive season, he had a big game on the Illini’s field.
“I haven’t really thought about that,” Jordan Westerkamp said. “That’s something to look at and think about.”
With Jordan Westerkamp returning next season, Andriano has already begun planning for 2011.
“Jordan’s just a junior, so I guess I’m coming back [for another title game] next year,” Andriano said.