Central Catholic’s Eddy Tillman too much for Canon-McMillan

Friday, October 18, 2019 | 11:35 PM

Eddy Tillman ran for four first-half touchdowns and racked up 170 yards on only 10 carries to pace No. 2 Central Catholic to a 44-0 victory over Canon-McMillan on Friday night.

Tillman, who recently received an offer from Division II Mercyhurst, scored on the first play from scrimmage from 57 yards out, and it was all Vikings from there.

He’d add touchdown runs of 18, 42 and 16 yards after that, all in the first half.

The Vikings are now a win away from clinching a first-round bye in the Class 6A playoffs.

“We’re trying to get better each week and I saw a lot of good things out there,” Central Catholic coach Terry Totten said. “Eddy hits that seam really well and gets down that sideline really well.”

As the second-quarter clock expired, Johnathan Opalko hit a 37-yard field goal to put Central Catholic up 30-0.

Antonio Pitts ran eight times for 93 yards and a score in the second half, and Adam Obrin, who came on for starting quarterback Dom Pieto in the third, ran for a 2-yard score early in the fourth.

“The offensive line (moves) their feet real well and runs that zone real well,” Totten said. “(The running backs) are fast kids.”

Canon-McMillan coach Mike Evans said it was like playing an all-star team.

“We felt we had some things planned up and some things open, but you’ve got to protect against some really good players,” Evans said.

The Big Macs, down 21 players from last year’s postseason team, have also lost starting quarterback Jonathan Quinque and top receiver Caleb Rancher to a broken leg.

They’ve inserted 14-year-old freshman Ben Urso at quarterback, and in his second start, he went against a four-man front with four Division-I recruits.

The objective, according to Evans, was to get the ball out of Urso’s hands quickly, which he thought he did, but sometimes too quickly.

“I put way too much on him because we weren’t able to run the football,” Evans said. “I don’t know if we gave our line enough credit coming in. We had digs open all night, but he stayed in there and did a good job. He’s going to be a really good player. I was so worried for him. I didn’t want him to take a ton of hits.”

Urso was 9 for 18 for 75 yards and two interceptions. His counterpart, Long Island University baseball commit Dom Pieto, was 6 for 9 for 69 yards for the Vikings.

Blake Joseph caught four of Urso’s passes for 61 yards, all in the first half.

With losses by Norwin and Butler, Canon-McMillan has clinched a spot in the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2007-08.

“It’s great to get in the playoffs again, but I feel with our record being 2-7, we need to win our next game and then a win in the playoffs validates things,” Evans said. “I think we need to show we belong, or I’ll just feel like we’re the sixth team that got in. We’re going to get a second shot at somebody. But the great thing is it’s one game. You sleep in the office, look for every nook and cranny, and it’ll be fun.”

As for the Vikings, a win next week against Mt. Lebanon would clinch a first-round bye. This year’s berth is the 20th-straight playoff appearance for the Vikings.

“The same plan all the time. We need to establish the run, mix it up with the pass and play good defense,” Totten said.

Central Catholic’s Week 9 game with Mt. Lebanon will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Canon-McMillan hosts Butler at 7 p.m. next week.

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