Football: ECC trounces Griffith; Austin Brown injured
By Ryan HAskell Post-Tribune correspondent October 12, 2012 11:42PM
Updated: November 14, 2012 3:13PM
EAST CHICAGO — Sometimes things just don’t go right.
Then something or someone is there to lift your spirits and get you going again.
That someone having a bad day was East Chicago quarterback Carlos Fernandez, who threw two interceptions on his first four passing attempts against Griffith on Friday night.
But teammate Martayveus Carter had his back.
The junior standout turned a blocked field goal into a 78-yard touchdown with 8:53 left in the second quarter and ignited the Cardinals in all three phases as they whipped the Panthers 35-0, recording their first win ever against their suburban rival.
Fernandez said Carter came up to him on the sidelines after the TD and told him to forget about the first quarter. Fernandez forgot about it, all right, tossing a pair of TD passes to Tre’Quan Burnett in the second and fourth quarters to forget his first-quarter misery and lead the Cardinals (8-1) to their seventh straight win.
“I was down the whole time. I just sat there on the sidelines,” said Fernandez, who finished 5-of-12 with 147 yards. “I was down until Marty got the touchdown and then came over to me and said: “That was for you.”
“My team was there for me. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have had the spirit to come back on the football field and throw the ball again. They told me it never happened and to keep my head up.”
Things never went right for Griffith (3-6) and Austin Brown.
Brown broke the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season but also was injured just before halftime and didn’t return. Coach Jim Pickett refused to comment after the game, so Brown’s status is unknown. The Panthers looked defeated in the second half without Brown as they mustered only 66 second-half yards.
Brown had 68 yards on 16 carries alone in the first half.
Junior defensive back Jason Stewart said Brown was the absolute focus Friday night.
“Our job was to keep (Brown) contained inside the perimeter area and make sure we all wrapped up and got to the ball,” he said. “We were told to make sure everybody gets to him and takes him to the ground.
“I’m proud to be a part of this defense. We had never beat Griffith before so it means a lot.”