FORT WAYNE – Recent injuries haven’t seemed to slow the Homestead football team as the Spartans just seem to keep bringing bodies off the bench to get the job done.
The Spartans won their 18th straight NHC game and 22nd regular-season contest with a 49-27 win over host Carroll on Friday.
Homestead (7-0, 5-0) got two touchdowns each from senior receiver Seth Coate and senior running back Frank Martin to offset the quick-strike prowess of Carroll (5-2, 3-2) and the Tranquill brothers, Drue and Justin.
It was a game that never seemed to be in doubt, although the Chargers never let the Spartans stay comfortable.
We are very grateful to come out of here with a win, Homestead coach Chad Zolman said.
You think a 28-point lead is going to be good, but not against these guys. They are very capable of putting up a lot of points quickly.
The Spartans appeared to be in cruise control when Martin scored on back-to-back touchdown runs to push the margin to 49-21.
But Justin Tranquill ran a kickoff back 93 yards for a touchdown, the Chargers recovered an onside kick and then seemingly had another touchdown, but penalties and the Spartans’ defense pushed Carroll back before a failed pass attempt on fourth-and-30.
Homestead senior quarterback Matt Skowronek passed for 173 yards and four touchdowns – two to Coate.
The combination was big with senior receiver Isaac Griffith, an Indiana recruit, still hobbled with a leg injury.
Homestead got senior running back Grayson Bastin back after missing two games with an injury against the Chargers.
Bastin had a touchdown but gained only 29 yards on the ground; Martin went for 74 and Skowronek ran for 98.
We have created depth by necessity over the last few weeks because we have been nicked up, Zolman said.
It was good to see those kids come in and play well.
Coate even played some at defensive back because of injuries to other members of the secondary.
We have had quite a few injuries this season, Coate said.
Not season-ending injuries, but ones that tend to last quite a few weeks.
We showed them what we had, the seniors stepped up, and we got the job done.
Drue Tranquill caught a touchdown pass for the Chargers, while also running for 88 yards, and played a little at quarterback in a new Wildcat formation. Quarterback Chris Terry threw for 273 yards and a touchdown.
The game seemed to get out of hand, but we knew we had some missed opportunities, Drue Tranquill said.
We fought through the whole game and will be ready to bounce back next week. Conference (games) matter, but the state tournament is what really matters.
We just have to put this one behind us and bounce back and fight next week.