GARY | It was a quick start Friday for Times No. 9 East Chicago Central.
Martayveus Carter returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for the Cardinals' first score. After forcing a three and out, Central nearly blocked the Lew Wallace punt and the rout was on.
The Cardinals (6-1) went on to a 48-22 win.
"We knew that once we started getting better, we'd get a target on our back and that meant we would have to practice that much harder," East Chicago coach Stacy Adams said. "We wanted to make sure (the Hornets) didn't sneak up on us."
Adams, who graduated from Lew Wallace, told his team before the game that this one was extra special.
"We made him proud that we beat this team," running back Anthony Hunt said. "We did it for Coach (Adams) and we did it for the Cardinals."
The Hornets (2-3) did their part as well. Of Quentin Harris' first seven passes, five were dropped. Wallace didn't tally a first down until four minutes into the second quarter and fumbled the ball three times.
Carter was one of four Cardinals who ran for a touchdown in the first half. Hunt led the team with 104 yards on only nine carries. He would finish with 132 yards and two touchdowns on only 10 carries.
"I was just hyped for the game, coming out with intensity," Hunt said. "It's just going hard in practice. You can't underestimate a team."
Carter, who usually handles the bulk of the rushing duties for East Chicago Central, took a back seat to Hunt.
"You never know when you may need somebody to step up and play," Adams said. "(Hunt) showed us that he can do it today."
Hunt turned in his second touchdown on a dazzling 28-yard scamper in the third quarter. It was the Cardinals' final score.
"It was a counter and I just followed my blocks," Hunt said. "Inside, I just said 'I know I'm going to score, I know I'm going to score.'"
Wallace scored with just over two minutes to go until the break when Harris hit Darius Mahome with a 2-yard touchdown pass.
Leondre Watson scored on a pair runs in the final minutes for the Hornets.