Kenny Sears threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns as visiting St. Paul’s dominated Hammond 36-0 in a District 6-5A matchup Friday night.
Sears came into the game on the Wolves’ third possession with no score. He promptly marched St. Paul’s downfield on a six-play 45-yard drive. He connected with Brandon Eberts on a 6-yard scoring toss before Austin Means added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 10:50 left in the first half.
The Tornadoes (1-4, 0-2) answered with a 95-yard kickoff return for an apparent touchdown by Brian Coleman, but an illegal block nullified the play.
“We couldn’t execute in the red zone,” Hammond coach Cecil Thomas said. “We can’t make mistakes and penalties against a good team like St. Paul’s. When we drove it deep, we just couldn’t finish.”
On their next possession, St. Paul’s (4-1, 2-0) struck quickly when Sears hit Jalen McClesky for a 51-yard touchdown pass. Means’ extra point made it 14-0 with 8:01 left in the half.
Following another punt, the Wolves drove 57 yards but were stopped at the Hammond 5-yard line. Means kicked a 22-yard field goal to increase the lead to 17-0 with 5:06 to go in the first half.
Sears completed 8 of 13 first half passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
“Our guys had a rough start and put it together,” St. Paul’s coach Kenny Sears said. “We ran the football well, and that opens up everything.”
Hammond had a chance to score on their opening drive of the game, driving 47 yards to the Wolves’ 25-yard line. But Blaise Schillace’s pass was intercepted by the Wolves’ Shawn Butler.
St. Paul’s put the game away by scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions of the second half. The Wolves finished the game with 450 total yards, 294 of them through the air.
The Tornadoes were held to 236 yards, with 177 of them on the ground. Hammond was led by Brett Sylve who had 147 yards on 19 carries.
Hammond quarterbacks combined to go 8 for 20 for 59 yards and two interceptions. The Tornadoes lost two of their four fumbles for the game, and Hammond committed 12 penalties for 137 yards.
“Our defense played outstanding,” Sears said. “With the injuries we had earlier in the year, I feel like we have built some depth now. But we have five tough district games left.”
Sears completed 14 of 23 passes. McClesky caught four of those passes for 95 yards.