Homestead coach Chad Zolman said he and his staff didn't make many adjustments during halftime of Friday's game at Carroll, but what a difference the break made anyway.
The Spartans (7-0) led Carroll (4-3) by just two points at the half, but Homestead quarterback Luke Goode threw a 72-yard touchdown to Jared Kistler on the first play of the second half and the Spartans dominated from there to end rivalry week with a 42-15 victory.
“The second half, we played a lot cleaner, it felt like defensively we played a little bit better,” Zolman said. “Credit to (Carroll), they're a hard offense to stop because (quarterback Jeffrey) Becker does a lot of good things back there, keeps plays alive and throws a really good football.”
Homestead got off to a quick start as Goode handed the ball to Jake Archbold for a 44-yard touchdown on the second play of the game. But the Spartans couldn't shake off the Chargers the rest of the first half: The next two Charger drives concluded with field goals of 27 and 31 yards by Trevor Horton.
Homestead took a 14-6 lead with a 24-yard pass from Goode to Archbold, who was wide open in the middle of the field. Archbold finished the game with four total touchdowns.
Carroll scored its lone touchdown in the second quarter on a 15-yard pass from Becker to Mason Englert.
Becker threw for 235 yards, but the Chargers had trouble finishing their drives, as they settled for a field goal or came away scoreless in five of their six trips to the red zone.
“We're a little disappointed that we let them get that many trips to the red zone, so that's definitely going to be a focus for us this week,” said Archbold, who is also a defensive back. “But in the end we were able to stop them and limit them to a field goal, which is a good thing.”
Kistler finished the game with 185 receiving yards, while Goode completed 14 of 19 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns.
It wasn't all smooth sailing for the Spartans, who remain undefeated with just Wayne and South Side remaining on their regular-season schedule.
Late in the opening half, Braeden Hardwick fumbled the ball at the 3-yard line, where it was recovered by Carroll's Larry Sible. Hardwick did score on an 18-yard run in the third quarter, but appeared to hurt himself on a cut and limped the final few steps into the end zone. He did not return to the game.
The Spartans lost another could-have-been touchdown in the third quarter when Cam Rogers fumbled in the end zone. He was ejected from the physical, often-chippy game after a hit a few minutes later.
“The only thing you're guaranteed in a football game is adversity, right?” Zolman said. “It's a good lesson. The kids just battled through it.”