HAMMOND | It was the Jesse Woods-Curtis and Tashon Rogers show in a Great Lake Athletic Conference game at Bernie Kreuger Field Friday.
Woods-Curtis and Hammond finished with a 45-40 win over Rogers and Gavit.
Rogers came out on top individually, though, with 345 total yards (153 passing, 213 rushing) and six touchdowns. Woods-Curtis finished 117 yards with four scores.
The Wildcats (5-2, 2-0) started the back-and-forth with a fumble recovery of the opening kickoff. Wood-Curtis then scampered 35 yards for a touchdown on the game's first play from scrimmage.
Gavit (3-5, 1-1) responded with a drive that took barely two minutes and ended with a 5-yard Rogers' dive into the end zone.
Hammond expanded the lead when Eric Schreiber hit a wide-open Thomas Gary for a 31-yard touchdown pass to complete a one-minute, 23-second drive.
Rogers got his second touchdown run three minutes later. The conversion pass failed and it was a 13-12 Hammond lead. But Wildcats senior running back Joe Jackson Jr. returned the subsequent kickoff 70 yards.
Hammond recovered a bad Gavit snap on the next play. Woods-Curtis capitalized with a 1-yard touchdown plunge bringing the score to 25-12.
Deonte Rush dove to pick off Rogers and the Wildcats looked like they were in control.
But, they turned the ball over on downs and Rogers found Aryk Rivoli-Johnson for a touchdown pass. Gavit fell on an on-side kick and got another touchdown pass --this time to Brandon Phillips for 36 yards-- and the Gladiators led 28-25 at half.
Woods-Curtis got his third and fourth touchdowns on runs of seven and 17 yards in the third quarter to give Hammond a 39-28 lead.
Rogers then earned his fifth total score on a 1-yard run to cut the lead to five with eight minutes to play. Wood-Curtis returned it 85 yards on the next kickoff to the Gavit 3-yard line.
Schreiber snuck the ball in from there to seal the game.
Rogers did notch a final score with under four minutes to play on a seven-yard run.
Hammond's win gives the Wildcats an inside track to the GLAC title, as they're the only remaining undefeated team in the conference.