Kantilla was born in Bathurst Island, which is part of the Tiwi Islands. After playing a couple of seasons with St Mary's in the Northern Territory he joined South Adelaide for the 1961 season and had an immediate impact, kicking six goals against Glenelg on his debut and winning the club's best and fairest award in his first two seasons. A tall man who stood at 196cm, Kantilla was soon moved away from the forward 50 and became a ruckman. He was a member of South Adelaide's premiership side in 1964 and by the time he left the club at end of the 1966 season he had played 113 games. During his time in South Australia he represented the state at interstate football on four occasions, in 1964 and 1965. After returning to the Northern Territory, he became captain-coach of his old club St Mary's.
In 1978 Kantilla was killed in a car accident on Bathurst Island. Twenty-seven years later he was named on the interchange bench in the Indigenous Team of the Century. He is also a member of the South Adelaide Football Club Hall of Fame.