Wildecats deal Hammond its first loss Line play leads the way in defeat of No. 9 Bears

October 29, 1995|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Wilde Lake quarterback Jeff Johnson wanted everyone to know who was responsible for the 22-12 upset of ninth-ranked Hammond. After the game he was shouting to anyone who'd listen.

"The game was won in the trenches and all of the credit goes to our offensive line," Johnson said.

Hammond coach Joe Russo, whose team's nine-game winning streak was broken, agreed, "They controlled the line and outplayed us."

Wilde Lake (5-3 overall, 3-2 league) also played a big game defensively by holding Hammond to 108 yards. Hammond's All-American Tim Spruill was held to 65 yards rushing on 17 carries and he completed just three of 10 passes for 30 yards.

Wilde Lake racked up 267 yards of offense led by Dain Lewis (15 carries, 92 yards, one touchdown) and Sean Jefferson (17 carries, 73 yards). Lewis was held to no yards in the first half and 16 yards in the third quarter, but broke runs of 32 and 34 yards in the fourth quarter.

That 32-yard run set up Wilde Lake's third touchdown at Hammond's 1-yard line with 4:17 left. Fullback Kyle Leibe, who played an outstanding game at linebacker, scored the touchdown and kicked the extra point for a 20-12 Wilde Lake lead.

"We had lost two straight games and needed to get our respect back," Leibe said. "We're not a 4-3 team. Atholton ruined our homecoming last week and we wanted to ruin Hammond's."

Wilde Lake scored a safety on Hammond's next possession due to a bad snap from the shotgun formation. Hammond's first-string center missed the game with an injury.

Until Wilde Lake's third touchdown the game was up for grabs with the Wildecats clinging to a 13-12 lead.

Wilde Lake had scored first on an 8-yard run by Johnson (4-for-8, 67 yards) on fourth-and-goal. A Hammond lineman missed tackling Johnson in the backfield and the defensive end was caught in pass coverage.

Hammond recovered with a 48-yard, nine-play touchdown drive in the second quarter that ended with a 19-yard scoring pass from Spruill to Mike Bright. The Bears went for two points but failed and trailed, 7-6.

Hammond (7-1, 4-1) went up 12-7 early in the third quarter after a Wilde Lake fumble at the Wildecats' 23-yard line. Chris Gleason recovered for the Bears.

It took four plays to score on Spruill's 1-yard run. Spruill's conversion pass failed.

Wilde Lake scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 13-yard run by Lewis that capped a 65-yard, nine-play drive. A 30-yard slant pass to Tony Jackson was the big play.

Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVall said, "We're a good football team that has just shot ourselves in the foot a couple of games."

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