LAWRENCE — Central Catholic proved that there is strength in numbers last night.
In the first round of the Division 1 North playoffs, Lexington showed some tremendous offensive talent and held leads of 7-0 and 14-6 in the first quarter. But the Minutemen just couldn’t keep pace with the depth-strong Raiders.
Central got touchdowns from six different players, rushed for 361 yards and had six players catch passes as junior QB Mike Milano threw for 210 yards and the Raiders pulled away in what turned out to be a 60-28 blowout.
“We do have depth in our skill positions and I think you saw that tonight,’ said Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “I thought our offensive line play was very good and I think we wore them down.”
Milano got the Raiders’ offensive fireworks started on their first play from scrimmage when he unleashed a 69-yard bomb to Cody Demers for a TD. He would finish with two touchdowns through the air with 10 completions in 15 attempts.
In addition to the athletic Demers, Ryan Etter caught three passes for 46 yards and Jonathan Parsons had two catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.
“I don’t really have a specific receiver and I have confidence in every guy,” said Milano, who also rushed for a TD and gained 80 yards on 12 carries. “The start of the game wasn’t the way we wanted, but I think every aspect of our game was effective.”
But while Milano was effective through the air, it was Central’s punishing ground game that beat up the Minutemen.
Trailing 14-6, Central scored four of the next five touchdowns, all on the ground. Markus Edmunds scored three times, including on a 47-yard burst right through the middle, and Mike Balsamo scored once.
Both Edmunds (106) and Balsamo (102) gained more than 100 yards.
Although shaky at times early, Central’s defense stiffened in the second half, allowing just one touchdown and three first downs in the final two quarters. After Lexington scored the opening TD of the second half on a 26-yard strike to ultra-skilled Rhett Adley to make the score 33-28, the Raiders scored four straight times to make it a romp.