Hammond dominates Centennial, 26-0

November 01, 1992|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,Contributing Writer

Hammond kept its Class 2A football playoff hopes alive and sophomore strong safety Mike Matthews' interception at the goal line preserved the Golden Bears' shutout of Centennial, 26-0, yesterday.

"They're flat-out bigger and stronger than us," Centennial coach Ed Holshue said of Hammond's offensive line that averages 240 pounds. "When they've got 260-pound and 280-pound kids blocking our 185-pound guy, you're not going to win too many of those battles."

Hammond (6-3, 4-2) registered its fifth shutout of the season and second in a row by limiting the young Centennial offense to just 48 total yards and four first downs. The Golden Bears' defense sacked Centennial quarterback Lawence Holmes four times and intercepted three passes.

"We figure we beat Wilde Lake next week, we're in the playoffs," Hammond coach Joe Russo said. The Golden Bears are battling Wicomico and J. M. Bennett for the final playoff spot.

Hammond's win was costly, however. Wide receiver Kelvin Stevens, who leads the county with 37 catches, was injured yesterday and may not be able to play next weekend. Stevens left the game in the fourth quarter with bruised ribs.

Stevens, who caught three passes for 29 yards, was injured after intercepting a Holmes pass in the third quarter. With his eighth interception this season, Stevens took a shot to the rib cage from a Centennial player as he ran out of bounds. He remained in the game, however, and later threw a two-point conversion pass to senior split end Cinque Crutchfield to give the Golden Bears a 14-0 lead.

Although Hammond had excellent field position in the first half, the Golden Bears only scored once, a 24-yard touchdown run by senior running back Erin Woodward (12 carries, 85 yards) with 11:53 remaining in the second quarter.

Twice in the first half Centennial's defense, led by sophomore linebacker Kevin O'Connor, stopped Hammond on fourth-and-short-yardage plays.

"But you can't play defense the whole game and expect to win," said Holshue after his team fell to 3-6 overall and 1-5 in league play.

Hammond senior quarterback Rudy Cooper, regaining his starting position after cracked ribs prevented junior Jeff Price from practicing Friday, ignited Hammond's offense by tossing two second-half touchdown passes.

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