Montalvo’s 5 TDs carry Lincoln-Way West past North 43-38
By his standards, Lincoln-Way West running back Javier Montalvo had a relatively quiet first half in Friday night’s SouthWest Suburban showdown against host Lincoln-Way North.
Two touchdowns, but only 59 yards.
Things would change.
After North crept within three points early in the third period, Montalvo exploded. The 5-foot-10 senior scored three more times and finished with 227 yards as the Warriors prevailed in a shootout, 43-38.
The victory moved West (6-1, 5-0) into sole possession of first place in the conference. North dropped to 6-1, 4-1.
“Oh, this is a great win,” Montalvo said. “This is the most important win.
“They’re North. We’re West. It’s always going to be a rivalry like this, a tough game every time we face them.”
It was a wild one, in which West never trailed but North kept battling back. It went down to the final seconds when, in a victory formation for West, the snap was swatted loose by a North defender before being recovered by the Warriors.
Montalvo’s five touchdowns were from 13, 1, 43, 7 and 5 yards. The 43-yarder was probably the biggest, because it was a momentum stopper.
North, which trailed 20-7 with less than a minute remaining in the first half, got back within 10 on a 28-yard field goal by Osvaldo Salazar as time expired, stopped West cold on the first possession of the third period and made it 20-17 when Ryan Arthur hit Kyle Ostrowski from 17 yards and Salazar booted the extra point.
Montalvo responded for West three plays later when he burst straight up the middle and accelerated past the North defense.
“That’s kind of how our game goes,” Montalvo said. “We get little yards at the beginning, and then by the third and fourth quarters we start getting those big gains.”
It set off a track meet in which the two teams traded scores. The showstopper was a hook-and-ladder play by North in which Arthur completed a pass to Ostrowski, who flipped the ball back to Julian Hylton, who raced the rest of the way for a 55-yard score.
Hylton later added a 55-yard run, but Montalvo and the Warriors always had an answer.
“We stayed focused the whole way,” Montalvo said.
West quarterback Justin Keuch was 12-for-18 for 102 yards. Colin DuCray was an early game-breaker for the Warriors with a 90-yard kickoff return.
Hylton finished with 117 yards on 18 carries, while Arthur was 14-of-26 for 244 yards for North.