Turnovers and missed tackles haunted the Hammond varsity football team Friday night as the Marriotts Ridge Mustangs claimed their first win of the season with a 28-0 shutout against the Golden Bears.
The host Mustangs scored on their opening possession of the game and converted an interception into another first quarter touchdown to jump to an early 14-0 lead. MRHS backs Robinson Davis and Eli Turner turned average carries into long touchdown runs by breaking tackles in the Hammond secondary. Davis opened the scoring on the sixth play of the evening with a 26-yard TD run, and Turner sprinted off tackle and bounced off defenders in the third quarter to finish off a 70-yard scamper to the end zone.
“That was the whole game. When we went to make tackles, we arm-tackled,” Hammond coach Shawn Fredrick said after his squad fell to 0-2 in the 2016 season. “They broke a lot of tackles. We have to start taking care of the little things.”
Turner added a second touchdown in the third quarter on a six-yard run.
The Hammond passing attack produced 149 yards of offense. Quarterback Elijah Lindsey threw 23 times and completed 11 passes. Senior Rocklin Curtis was targeted seven times and caught four passes for 75 yards. Curtis also took a number of snaps at the quarterback position.
The Hammond ground attack was led by Tyquan Carter’s 12 carries good for 34 yards. The Golden Bears’ longest runs from scrimmage were a pair of 12-yard attempts by Carter and Diata Burns.
Defensively, Burns and William Gachuma intercepted Mustang passes. Amir Johnson and Nasim Sanders combined for a first-quarter quarterback sack, and Guy Springer blindsided Mustang quarterback Mason Pung for his own first half sack.
Linebacker Juan Mercedes and Zayy Lindsey each tallied six tackles.
The news was better for Hammond football fans during the junior varsity contest. The Hammond JV team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 12-6 victory over the Marriotts Ridge junior varsity squad.