HESSVILLE | In a game like the one Hammond and Morton typically play, it always comes down to who makes more big plays than the other.
Hammond did just that and took advantage of four Morton fumbles to win 28-14 in the Great Lakes Athletic Conference for its first win over the Govs since 2007.
"It obviously feels good to beat Morton and this game puts us in a good spot for conference," Hammond coach Eric Schreiber Sr. said. "But the only thing that matters is sectionals because it's a totally new game and there are no guarantees."
After the visiting Wildcats (4-1, 1-0 GLAC) opened the game with a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by a Keirahn Richard 26-yard run, the turnover bug hit them like a ton of bricks.
While driving all the way to the Morton seven in the second quarter, Hammond junior quarterback Eric Schreiber Jr. fumbled a snap and Governor junior defensive back Kenneth Coleman scooped it up and made a 90-yard dash for Morton's first score.
Hammond responded with a Schreiber touchdown with 6:30 left in the half and just 20 seconds later, junior defensive back Derrick English wrestled the ball away from Govs quarterback Torey Armstrong and scampered 29 yards to make it 20-7.
After a scoreless third quarter that was controlled by the Wildcat running attack, Governor running back Josh Bailey fumbled a punt, which Richard recovered at the Morton 29.
"We cannot let this pump our heads up," said Richard, who ran for 91 yards on nine carries. "We still made some mental mistakes. We have to think and work ten times as hard."
Three plays later, Schreiber hit tight end Thomas Gary for a 10-yard strike to pad the lead to 14.
Later in the quarter, with 5:26 left, Govs running back Freddy Creater fumbled it on the Hammond 12.
"The game against Indy Tech helped because those boys were big and fast," said Schreiber. "We feel like we have some weapons on the outside and we stress being a balanced offense."
Morton (2-4, 1-1), who was missing five offensive starters including running back Kendall Huff and quarterback Jimmy Glidewell due to one-game suspensions, netted just 227 yards of total offense.