HAMMOND | A second-half rally came up short for Hammond on Friday night as Boone Grove held on for a 23-14 win.
Tony Skoda’s 38-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter gave Boone Grove just enough breathing room, making it a two-possession game with just 2:18 remaining in the game. Hammond was on the march in their final possession, but an interception by Alan Espino with just over a minute remaining sealed the win for the Wolves.
Hammond had rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit to make the game close. On the Wildcats’ first possession of the second half, Derrion Rogers led a march down the field, overcoming a 7-yard loss on a sack before hitting Anthony Fleming with a 20-yard touchdown pass. Hammond found that offensive rhythm again early in the fourth quarter, when De’Shon Roberson ran in from 48 yards out to cut the Boone Grove lead to 20-14 with eight minutes left.
Mental mistakes cost the Wildcats, who were flagged for three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, including two in the second half.
Evan Stewart staked Boone Grove to a big lead with two rushing touchdowns in the first half. In the first quarter, Stewart punched it in from the five-yard line. In the second, he took a pitch right and scrambled around the outside for a 30-yard score.
Hammond’s defense made several stops to keep the Wildcats in the game, including two big stands at the 5-yard line that forced Boone Grove to kick field goals.
The Wolves had been marching down the field on their first possession of the game but the Hammond defense stiffed in the redzone and Boone Grove settled for a 23-yard field goal by Andrew Ooms. The Wildcats defense stood tall on the 5-yard line again early in the fourth quarter, forcing the Wolves to take a 23-yard field goal by Skoda.