Pickering sparks Montini to win over Notre Dame
Brett Pickering did not expect to get in a game this season, or Thursday night.
Injuries have necessitated that Pickering, the third of Montini's sophomore quarterbacks, to be thrust into action. He's not even 100%, dealing with a hip injury.
But he was stood tall when it mattered.
Pickering's 21-yard touchdown pass to Mario Florio with 44.6 seconds left was the difference as the Broncos beat Notre Dame 7-0 in a matchup of previously 0-2 teams.
Pickering, 9-for-13 for 137 yards in relief of Cole Teschner, who left the game late in the first half with a leg injury and returned for just one series in the second half, directed an eight-play, 84-yard drive that started with 2:43 left and the two teams seemingly headed to overtime in a game dominated by the defenses.
Pickering was 3-for-5 on the drive with completions to Trey Barrett, Mingo Nixon and Florio, the touchdown on a deep post.
"We knew we needed a score," Pickering said. "I knew I had my coaches by side, my teammates by my side and my coaches by my side. With them it allowed it to happen."
Montini (1-2), which avoided its first 0-3 start since 2002, lost starting quarterback Tre Jones to a finger injury in the last week, and Teschner hurt his leg running for a first down late in the first half. Notre Dame, likewise, has played three quarterbacks this season with multisport standout Anthony Sayles not playing this spring.
The two teams combined for six turnovers in the first half -- Montini had four of them -- and traded 10 punts in the second half.
Montini senior Jalen McBride, who earlier caught a spectacular 42-yard catch from Pickering and also intercepted two passes, was part of a defense that stuffed Notre Dame on three fourth downs inside Broncos' territory. The third was a fourth-and-goal in the second quarter.
"I have to give all thanks to my guys," McBride said. "We played with energy tonight and I just fed off them. We had one heck of a game. We just stuck together. We knew it would be a dogfight."