2004 4A Finals Preview
Friday Nov 26th
Montini may have had one of the toughest schedules in the state. After week one's match up with SHG, the Broncos would take on Geneva , who was just eliminated from the 6A playoffs in the semi-finals. Beside playing in the always competitiveSuburban Catholic Conference, Montini would have to beat conference teamsWoodstock (Marian) &Wheaton (St. Francis) twice. A feat that no coach looks forward to. Add in 3 time defending 4A champAddison (Driscoll)& current 3A finalist, into the conference and the Broncos had 7 quality games out of 13.
Now flash forward to the 4A finals where the Broncos will be facing the stingy defense of Coal City. A team that hasn't allowed more than 13 points in any of it's wins & has 8 shut outs this year.
QB Bobby Dobry will looking to his hard working back Mike Mucha to take some pressure off him by running the ball up the gut behind their line that's averaging 6'0 244 lbs. Mucha would definitely like to add to his 1582 rushing yards and help bring back a trophy to Lombard, but won't mind seeing the ball go into the hands of Joey Boresellino who has racked up 811 yards with 13 TDs so far.
If Mucha gets blocked up by the tenacious D of Coal City, Dobry will be able to step up and help keep the DB's away from the line. With 1381 yards passing so far this season Dobry will be looking to find his main receiver, sure handed Ben Murphy (6'1 185 sr.) to add to his 43 receptions & 9 TDs.
Something to look out for? An early score against the Coaler. Only one team all season has scored on them in the 1st quarter all year.
The Coalers' defensive line isn't a group of monsters though. Averaging 6'2 208 lbs, the Coalers fall in the middle of lines that appear in the finals this year size wise. On that line however is Matt Watson. At 6'3 240 this senior tackle leads all 4A final players with 19 sacks.
Cory Mikula & Kyle Lardi round up the rest of the defense stat leaders with a combine 105 solo tackles & 139 assisted tackles.
On the offensive side of the ball the Coalers aren't to shabby either. Averaging 32 points a game, the Coalers may not need to score a lot to win the schools second title in as many tries.
Their lowest scoring game was against Interstate Eight Conference & neighboring city rivalWilmington. While the Coalers took a 4-0 halftime lead. Scoring twice on safeties, They failed to score as Wilmington found the endzone 3 times for 20 points, in the heated game for the conference title. While they lost this game it's still a great example of how they can beat you, even if they only score on defense, which they have been known to do.
Look for Coal City to stick with the run if the game is close. Grinding it out & running the clock down if their up, but letting QB Jeff Hodgen throw once they get into trouble.
by Vincent Johnson