Homestead ball carrier Grant Raber looks for an opening Friday night against Bishop Luers on his way to the end zone. Homestead made the most of several Luers turnovers to win going away. (Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Homestead quarterback Jiya Wright threw for three touchdowns and ran for two Friday against Bishop Luers.
Saturday, September 02, 2017 1:00 am
Homestead 47 Bishop Luers 3
Spartans set aside errors
Make most of Luers' mistakes to blow out Knights
JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette
Both Homestead and Bishop Luers made a bevy of mistakes Friday night – they combined for six first-half turnovers – but the difference was Homestead's ability to put errors behind it and roll to a 47-3 victory in a matchup of two of the area's supposed offensive juggernauts.
Spartans quarterback Jiya Wright, the Northern Illinois recruit, led the way with five touchdowns. He completed 13 of 19 passes for 204 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
“Mistakes are going to happen. You just have to keep fighting. You just keep pep-talking (your teammates) and let them know you're going to get them next time and keep going,” Wright said.
Homestead (3-0), which is ranked 14th in the Class 6A coaches poll, is 3-0 against Luers since joining the SAC in 2015.
The Knights (2-1) are ranked sixth in the Class 3A coaches poll and eighth in the media poll.
The subtext to the teams' battle for a possible conference championship – if either can beat favored Snider – was Jordan Presley's return to the field on which he starred last year.
Presley, who rushed for a Homestead-record 1,733 yards and 24 touchdowns before transferring to Luers this year, contributed all over the field by rushing for 81 yards, forcing a fumble that he returned 28 yards and intercepting a pass.
But he also had a key turnover, fumbling the ball into the end zone after teammate Camdyn Childers intercepted a Wright pass on the first drive of the game, and the tone for a mistake-heavy night had been set.
On the ensuing drive, Wright connected with Trevin Taylor for a 50-yard touchdown catch and a 7-0 lead. After Presley scampered 49 yards to set up a 41-yard field goal by Peyton Howe, a 78-yard interception return by Homestead's Jake Archbold set up Gunnar Fry for a 27-yard field goal and a 10-3 lead with 4:03 left in the second quarter.
Cameron Shannon's second interception of the game for Homestead set up Wright for a 12-yard scamper through a slew of defenders, a touchdown and a 17-3 lead. And Wright connected with Taylor for another touchdown – this from 25 yards out – for a 24-3 lead with 10 seconds left in the half.
Taylor, who had five catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns, said the Spartans take pride in being able to shrug off mistakes.
“That's what good teams have to be able to do,” he said. “You've got to be able to go to the next play, move on. ... But we've got to sharpen everything up because there are always things to work on.”
Luers' defense now has eight interceptions this season, but the offense has much to work on, after quarterback Norman Knapke completed 4 of 13 passes for 41 yards with three interceptions.
“We'll have to rebound and regroup and put this game behind us,” Luers coach Kyle Lindsay said.