MARPLE >> Cardinal O’Hara quarterback Tommy O’Hara calls junior receiver Justin Santilla a “crazy athlete.”
“I guess it runs in the family,” O’Hara said of Santilla, whose brother, Corey Brown, went from O’Hara to Ohio State to the Carolina Panthers.
O’Hara also has a relative who earned All-Delco honors at Cardinal O’Hara. His uncle, Tom O’Hara, was an All-Catholic and All-Delco basketball guard for the Lions during 1978-79 season, then played at Rider College.
Corey Brown would have been proud of his brother and Tom O’Hara would have smiled at the efforts of his nephew had they been on the O’Hara campus Friday night, watching the Lions earn their fourth consecutive football victory, a 35-14 drubbing of visiting Bishop McDevitt.
“I don’t think we won a Catholic League game since we beat Carroll in my sophomore year,” Tommy O’Hara said, after running for a pair of touchdowns and tossing two scoring passes to Santilla, who also had the only interception of the game.
O’Hara’s numbers included 12 carries for a team-high 110 yards rushing and 6 for 8 passing — the six were on his first half-dozen attempts — for 66 yards.
Santilla made five catches for 69 yards, and O’Hara’s other completion resulted in a 3-yard loss.
“McDevitt’s got some good kids, especially that big back (DiAvante Lloyd, who had 13 carries for 63 yards),” said O’Hara head coach B.J. Hogan, whose team hosts neighborhood rival Bonner & Prendergast Friday night.
“It’s big for us to be 1-0 in the Catholic League.”
Cardinal O’Hara got on the scoreboard early after Jamir Redd claimed the ball when the opening kickoff return resulted in a McDevitt fumble. Tommy O’Hara’s 13-yard run gave the Lions a first down at the Lancers’ 9, and the senior QB scored on the next snap, which he juggled before gaining control of the ball and racing torward the goal line.
McDevitt responded by taking the lead on an 80-yard drive that lasted 10 plays and concluded with Max Bryson’s 17-yard scoring pass to Jaron Macon.
The Lancers’ lead lasted 4½ minutes as O’Hara marched his team to a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. Santilla got behind a defender in the end zone and pulled in an O’Hara pass from 22 yards out. O’Hara threw to Bobby Siderio for a two-point conversion.
“I saw the ball in the air and their guy just jumped too early and it came to me,” Santilla said of his scoring play.
O’Hara’s next possession ended with Santilla dashing past a defender and hauling in a 33-yard strike from Tommy O’Hara seven minutes before halftime.
“We’ve run that pattern a lot,” Santilla said. “You set them up outside, then go inside.”
Tommy O’Hara and Te’Ron Johnson added touchdowns in the second half for the Lions (4-0, 1-0 league).
“Our defense was flying to the ball all game,” Tommy O’Hara said after the Lions limited McDevitt to 83 yards on 24 rushes and 69 yards passing. “We’re just happy that we got this win in a Catholic League game.”