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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Homestead quarterbacks Luke Goode, right, and Jack Archbold play catch Tuesday. Both see significant playing time. 

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Homestead quarterbacks Jake Archbold, left and Luke Goode discussing plays around the water cooler during practice at Homestead High School on Tuesday.  

Friday, September 07, 2018 1:00 am

High School Football: Week 4

2 Homestead QBs emerge as No. 1

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

Homestead quarterbacks Luke Goode and Jake Archbold say they don't compare statistics, but even if they did, it would be hard to say which one is winning. 

Through the first three games of the season, Archbold, a junior, has completed 32 passes for 442 yards for the Spartans. Sophomore Goode, has racked up 444 passing yards on 33 completions. Each has accounted for four touchdowns (Goode's touchdowns have come on passes; Archbold has thrown for two and run for two). Each has been trusted with the ball during a fourth-quarter comeback attempt this season. Goode has the better rating, but Archbold doubles as the team's leading rusher, averaging 67.7 yards per game. 

Regardless of who's been under center, the Spartans have had some of the best quarterbacking in the region. 

“I'm not sure we can say we've done it like this,” said Chad Zolman, who is in his 15th season as Homestead's coach. “When I first started coaching here, we had a situation similar to it, but it was like I'd let one guy go for a game. And then if another guy practiced better during the week, we'd go with another guy, things like that. But never where we split time during a game like that.”

The Spartans (2-1) entered the season knowing they would have to replace graduate Jiya Wright at quarterback, and Goode and Archbold – and, for that matter, their coaches – fully expected one of the two would win the quarterback competition in camp. But neither player was ever able to pull decisively ahead of the other, and the coaching staff decided to tell the pair that they would both be getting significant playing time two days before the season opener. 

“We found out actually Wednesday night before the Northrop game,” Goode recounted. “I think coach (Bill) Skelton (the offensive coordinator) sat us down, and we had a little discussion about how it's going to go this year. He told us how everything's going to go, and how we'd both earned our time out on Friday nights, so that's kind of how that went.”

Zolman said he felt that both his quarterback candidates were “Friday night worthy.”

“For development purposes, we felt like this was the best way to go for the future of our team and the development of both kids, and also for the success of our team,” Zolman said. “If we felt like one guy would lead us to more success than the other, we'd do it differently. But we feel like it's working right now.”

The two have distinctive playing styles. Goode is tall and lanky at 6-foot-5 and has already attracted interest as a basketball recruit. 

“I'm a good passer, so I feel like my pocket presence is pretty good, and I can make a play downfield,” Goode said.

 Archbold, who was the Spartans' second-leading rusher in 2017, considers himself a dual threat.

“I can make a throw if you need me to, and I'm also quick on my feet, able to do that,” Archbold said. 

Archbold and Goode said they are constantly talking between themselves and with Skelton during games, sharing thoughts on what is and is not working against defenses. 

“I think they talk a lot. They learn a lot from each other,” Zolman said. “There's a way to take reps while you're watching. I think they know the play, what the play is called, and they're seeing what's out there and ... how they would react to things.”

Zolman typically has one quarterback play for two consecutive series before switching off to the other. If the game is still on the line in the fourth quarter, Zolman will go with the player who seems to have the hot hand. That was Goode in Homestead's 29-27 win over Concordia in Week 2, and Archbold last week as Homestead rallied to score three fourth-quarter touchdowns but ultimately fell to Bishop Luers 38-36. 

And while the two friends, who are also basketball teammates at Homestead, get to share the glory when the team succeeds, Zolman acknowledged that most kids in the same position would rather have the starting job all to themselves. 

“It's tough on them and it's tough on their families in the stands,” Zolman said. “They're going to hear some things, and so I think that's the tough part. Because honestly we know they both want to be the starting quarterback and to have every rep out there. It's natural for those kids.

“But they've handled it so well. They've shown a lot of maturity. ... We haven't seen any sort of a negative effect on the two of them or the team, so it's been really good.”

vjacobsen@jg.net