Montini’s Taylor a concern for Morris
By Matt Le Cren For Sun-Times Media November 22, 2012 6:12PM
Morris will look to stop Montini running back Dimitri Taylor in Saturday’s Class 5A state title game. | File photo
IHSA State Football Playoffs
All games at Memorial Stadium, Champaign
Television: Comcast Sports Net
Maroa (12-1) vs. Stockton (13-0), 10 a.m.
Aledo (13-0) vs. Altoff Catholic (10-3), 1 p.m .
Aurora Christian (12-1) vs. Tolono (12-1), 4 p.m.
Rock Island Alleman (12-1) vs. Rochester (12-1), 7 p.m.
Montini (11-2) vs. Morris (12-1), 10 a.m.
Crete-Monee (13-0) vs. Cary-Grove (13-0), 1 p.m.
Lincoln-Way Eat (13-0) vs. Glenbard West (13-0), 4 p.m.
Mount Carmel (12-1) vs. Glenbard North (12-1), 7 p.m.
Updated: December 24, 2012 6:55AM
Dimitri Taylor is used to flying, or in his case running, under the radar.
The Montini running back was overlooked last year despite rushing for 1,110 yards, including 196 yards and a touchdown in the Broncos’ epic 70-45 victory over Joliet Catholic in the Class 5A state championship game.
Montini is back in the 5A final at 10 a.m. Saturday against Morris, and this time Taylor has been a much bigger factor in the Broncos’ success. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior has carried 171 times for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns despite missing two games early in the season because of injury.
“He’s kind of gone unnoticed because of our passing game,” Montini coach Chris Andriano said. “He doesn’t always get the ink a lot of other guys get but he doesn’t care.”
Taylor hopes to play an important role Saturday when Montini (11-2) tries to earn its fourth straight state title with a win over Morris (12-1) at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
“It’s more enjoyable this year because I receive the ball more,” Taylor said. “I like it that I’m a big factor in the game.”
Taylor has proved his worth during the playoffs. He rushed for 90 yards and caught a 26-yard touchdown pass as the Broncos avenged one of their two losses by routing host Marian Central 42-27 in the quarterfinals. He had 169 yards rushing and 55 receiving and scored three times in last week’s 40-37 semifinal victory over Joliet Catholic in which his 10-yard run set up Joe Borsellino’s game-winning 1-yard TD run in the final minute.
“He’s as complete a running back as you’ll find,” Andriano said. “He’s got good hands, he’s a good blocker and he can run hard. He packs a wallop.”
Because of his relatively modest size, Taylor’s strength is sometimes underestimated, which amuses him.
“A lot of people think they can just bring me down with an arm tackle,” Taylor said. “I don’t believe that will work. They go for my feet a lot and I just try to high-step over them. I just like to power through kids and show them that being small doesn’t mean anything at all.”