Montini wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp was recently diagnosed with pneumonia.
On Saturday he was the new nemesis for Sycamore.
Westerkamp hauled in 3 touchdown passes during Saturday afternoon's Class 5A second-round playoff game in Sycamore to lead the Broncos to a 28-7 victory. It was the second straight year the Broncos defeated the Spartans at Sycamore in a playoff game.
"My body feels fine, it's just my lungs and coming out here and breathing in the cold air," he said. "It was harder to run around, but I was able to push through it."
Westerkamp, who had 10 receptions for 220 yards, and the Broncos didn't waste any time in getting started. He hauled in a pass from quarterback and cousin Matt Westerkamp on the first play from scrimmage for a 55-yard touchdown.
"We hoped we were going to get that look and it was exactly what we thought," Montini coach Chris Andriano said. "And Matt threw a perfect ball."
No. 3 seed Sycamore (9-2) took advantage of a fumble to tie the game at 7-all with 4:28 remaining in the first quarter as Tommy Nice took the fotball into the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown run. It proved to be the only time that Sycamore would really break through the Montini defense.
"We had a very physical week, and it always comes down to preparation and playing our game," Montini defensive lineman Frank Montalto said. "We weren't completely pleased, we had some blown assignments and missed tackles, but we were physical and our stunts gave them some trouble."
Montini (9-2) took control late in the second quarter. On a fourth-and-12 with 5:13 remaining in the first half, Matt Westerkamp was forced out of the pocket but somehow found Anthony Taylor for the first down. Dimitri Taylor followed with a 14-yard touchdown run to put the Broncos ahead 14-7.
"The quarterback did a great job of finding, off a scramble, Anthony Taylor, and he had to run an out and turned up and really he was covered but was able to make a nice catch on a spot throw," Andriano said. "It was a huge first down and we ended up scoring off of it, which was huge before halftime, giving us momentum."
Sycamore fumbled the ball away on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. Doug Diedrick recovered for the Broncos, and they turned it into a 21-7 advantage when the Westerkamps hooked up again, this time for a 29-yard touchdown.
Montini seemingly put the game out of reach late in the third quarter. A blocked punt by Phil Giordano gave the Broncos the ball at the Sycamore 45-yard line and after an incompletion, the Westerkamps concluded their fine afternoon with a 45-yard touchdown with 1:01 left in the third quarter.
"We tried to come out with a balanced game with the running game, but when we saw the openings we had to take advantage," Jordan Westerkamp said. "Matt was just on today. We had a lot of openings and he had a great day throwing the ball."
The Broncos intercepted 2 passes, had 2 fumble recoveries, forced 6 punts and turned Sycamore over on downs twice.
"We didn't play sharp. We made a lot of mistakes, but our defense played a very good hitting game," Andriano said. "(The Spartans are) a good team, and we knew it would be a battle, and I thought the kids stepped up physically and played a great game."