TUSCOLA — Central A&M had big plays on offense and defense on the way to a 49-14 win at Tuscola in a Central Illinois Conference game. It was Central A&M's first win over Tuscola since 2012.
Here's what we learned:
Central A&M is more than a two-man show.
Quarterback Connor Heaton threw for 108 yards and one touchdown and ran for a pair of touchdowns. Jacob Paradee broke a long touchdown run, but the Raiders got contributions all over on offense.
Connor Hutchins was a threat on the ground and in the air, rushing for 66 yards and had six catches for 91 yards. Brycen Burgener also had a pair of catches. The Raiders built a 42-7 lead at halftime and Paradee didn't have a catch, though he ran for a touchdown and had an interception return for a touchdown. Running back Brady Patton also broke free for a 45-yard run in the third quarter, running for 75 cards on four carries.
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Raiders defense hasn't gotten credit
Central A&M allows just 12 points entering the game and have only allowed 26 points in three games this season. The defensive line, led by Jeske Maples and Christian Perkins, got pressure on Tuscola quarterback Logan Tabeling. Hutchins anchors down the linebacker group and Paradee and Heaton are the key cogs in the defensive secondary.
Tuscola still has playmakers
Though the A&M defense was stout, Tuscola still made a few plays through the air. Brandon Douglas has a touchdown catch in the first half and receiver Jalen Quinn made several plays in the air as he continues to grow on the football field. Quinn, a sophomore, had several big catches to move the chains on offense, in addition to a first-half interception.