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Football: East Chicago pulls away in second half

Updated: November 21, 2012 6:14AM



HAMMOND — The atmosphere at Bernie Kreuger Field screamed playoffs as East Chicago defeated Hammond 28-7 in Friday night’s 4A Sectional 9 opener. The two teams were tied at halftime, but the Cardinals established control early in the third quarter.

On the first drive of the second half, EC’s Larunte Fairley picked off Hammond quarterback Eric Schreiber and returned it 37 yards for the touchdown. The pick-six was Fairley’s sixth of the season.

“Coach put us in cover-2 and I just stayed deep and did my job,” Fairley said. The defensive back isn’t satisfied yet saying, “Being a senior, I’m not ready to let go yet, it’s going to be a long road to get to state, but we’re going to take it one step at a time.”

Said EC coach Stacy Adams: “We knew we had to come out ready to play and to match Hammond’s intensity if we were going to win this game.”

The Cardinals (9-1) did just that, tacking on some insurance when junior tailback Martayveus Carter found pay dirt from 1 yard out. Carter finished with 107 yards on the ground.

Field conditions were less than optimal, causing both teams to struggle in the passing game.

“We came out before the game to see what we were going to be playing on ahead of time, and we were ready,” Adams said.

Schreiber couldn’t seem to find his footing all night finishing 3-of-18 for only 30 yards. Meanwhile, Cardinals quarterback Carlos Fernandez completed 4-of-8 passes for 87 yards. The biggest play through the air occurred when Fernandez connected on a 70-yard bomb to Demetris Cousins on a third and long conversion.

The Wildcats were able to rush for 185 yards as a team but just couldn’t get the ball into the end zone.

That’s because the Cardinals’ defense was stifling, coming up huge in the red zone. “Our defense is playing really well right now,” said Adams.



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