Hilliman’s 3 TDs carries BC past Central Michigan 28-8
BOSTON (AP) — Michael Walker walked into a postgame press conference wearing khaki shorts and loafers like he just came from a day at the beach.
He hardly looked like the speedy player who helped break a game open for Boston College.
Jon Hilliman had two short touchdown runs and caught a pass for another, Walker broke three punt returns that set up scores and BC beat Central Michigan 28-8 on Saturday.
Walker had 124 yards on his first three punt returns, and finished with 135 total yards.
“Well, he’s certainly been a spark for us on special teams — without a doubt,” BC coach Steve Addazio said. “He’s done a great job on our kickoff returns. He’s continuing to do a great job on our punt returns.”
A.J. Dillon added a 15-yard TD run for the Eagles (2-3). Anthony Brown completed 14 of 21 passes for just 85 yards, but had a touchdown despite missing most of the week’s practices with a sore throwing shoulder.
Dillon ran 25 times for 120 yards, but was injured on a carry in the final minute and walked off slowly. Hilliman ran for 89 yards on 23 carries.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak for Boston College and was Central Michigan’s third straight loss.
“Coming off a week where we were pretty banged up, a lot of guys missed practice including the quarterback,” Addazio said. “I think the ability to come out here and play with some physicality on both sides of the ball, offensive and defensive lines, get a win, get that good feeling again, I’m pleased with that.”
After struggling on its first two possessions, BC got a spark when Walker returned a punt 61 yards to Central Michigan’s 6. On the next play, Hilliman busted through the middle for a score that made it 7-2.
“Any way I can to help the team out,” Walker said. “If we need that little spark, and I can provide it, that’s all we need to help get the momentum going.”
Midway into the opening quarter, Walker went 34 yards on a return, giving the Eagles the ball near midfield. BC then marched 53 yards in eight plays, with Dillon going up the middle for the final 15.
After Central Michigan sliced it to 14-8 early in the second on Kumehnnu Gwilly’s 1-yard TD run, Walker gave BC good field position again. The 6-foot junior broke free along the left sideline before being knocked out of bounds after a 27-yard return at Central Michigan’s 17.
“It’s tough, but we’ve still got to come out on top and stop them,” the Chippewas’ Amari Coleman said of BC’s short field after the returns.
The Eagles needed just three plays to score. Hilliman capped the drive with a 2-yard run to make it 21-8.
Brown hit Hilliman for a 3-yard scoring toss midway into the third quarter.
Graduate transfer quarterback Shane Morris completed 21 of 42 for 171 yards with three interceptions for Central Michigan (2-3).
Central Michigan: The Chippewas will need to fix their punt coverage, correct poor penalties and find some consistency offensively to have success in the Mid-American Conference.
Boston College: The Eagles can’t be fooled by an easy win against an inferior opponent. A loss might have stoked conversation about the immediate future of Addazio. Now, they need to find a way to win some games in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Eagles were stopped on their first drive at their own 44 on a 4th-and-1. On the second, they started at the 1 and Hilliman was tackled in the end zone for a safety on the first play.
Central Michigan: The Chippewas return to conference play and host Ohio next Saturday.
Boston College: The Eagles get back into ACC action, hosting No. 12 Virginia Tech on Saturday night.
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