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The Journal Gazette

  • Homestead's Braeden Hardwick keeps ahold of the ball as he is tackled by Northrop's Darrius Sanders into the sideline during the second quarter at Northrop on Friday night. (Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette)

Saturday, August 24, 2019 1:00 am

Homestead 43 Northrop 6

Spartans play spoiler in opener

Cruise to victory as Bruins unveil new artificial turf

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

Homestead spoiled Northrop's party on Friday night, winning 43-6 in the season opener as the Bruins unveiled their new artificial turf field at Spuller Stadium and honored the 1999 team.

“It's a lot of hard work to get to that first game, so it's a lot of fun to get out here,” Homestead coach Chad Zolman said. “It's exciting. It's good to see the work pay off.”

The Spartans set the tone for the night early, halting the Bruins on their first drive, and then breaking up the punt attempt, forcing the ball out of the end zone for a safety to go up 2-0. The Spartans defense gave up just 144 yards of total offense and held Northrop's quarterbacks to just 4-of-16 passing. 

“We knew we had some kids who were aggressive,” Zolman said. “Those kids can fly around, and they have a little bit of a chippiness to them, which you have to have on defense. I was really pleased with how fast they moved tonight.”

With about five minutes to go in the first quarter, Braeden Hardwick carried the ball from inside the 1-yard line to score Homestead's first down of the season and go ahead 9-0. 

Early in the second quarter, quarterback Luke Goode found Camden Rogers in the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown. 

The Bruins replied with their only touchdown, a 5-yard run by Damarius Cowen, but the 2-point conversion failed, making the score 16-6.

But the Spartans quickly pulled further away. Goode threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jake Archbold, who shared the quarterback position with him last season. But special teams came back to bite the Bruins again on the following drive, as the snap got past punter Tarik Bajgoric. He recovered the ball at the Bruins 17-yard line, but the Spartans took possession on downs. On Homestead's first play of the new drive, Goode threw another touchdown. 

Archbold finished the night with five receptions for 39 yards, a tackle and an interception on defense. 

“Personally, it's all with the team; nothing I did was something I did by myself,” Archbold said. “It starts with the linemen up front, always doing a good job. We did good jobs on back-side routes, holding off defenders.”

Late in the fourth quarter, Sam Scavo scored on a 21-yard pass from Goode, and the visiting Homestead student section began chanting the receiver's name.

“Scavo's just a goof, we love the kid,” Archbold said. “He loves the culture, he loves football, he likes lifting a lot. He's a great guy, he works really hard, but everybody followed behind him. The student section loves him, apparently.”

The final touchdown, a hand-off to Hardwick at the 3-yard line, kicked off the running clock, which was instituted by the IHSAA during the offseason.