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Five keys to New Haven's win over Homestead

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The team was re-energized after losing to East Noble last week

Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 10:42 am

New Haven may have lost its chance to win the NHC outright last week,

but it more than made it for it this week. The Bulldogs ran past

Homestead in a 45-20 win to claim the schools first and outright

conference championship.

Here's how New Haven did it…

Vasquez carries New Haven ... and Homestead defenders

Senior Ariest Vasquez ran all over Homestead from his first touch of

the ball. New Haven got it to him on the third play of the game and he

took it up the middle, then carried Homestead another 20 yards after

contact for a 26-yard gain. This theme continued throughout the first

half as the Spartans couldn't tackle him in open space or one-on-one.

He ended up scoring three rushing touchdowns to go with a defensive

one as well, and the Spartans may still be trying to pile defenders

onto him to take him down.

2. Seniors lead the way

New Haven got beat last week by East Noble, but the 21 seniors on this

team quickly adjusted. They knew it was just the first chance blown to

capture the NHC outright, and they responded with a what coach Jim

Rowland said was a reenergized and refocused week of practice. They

came out quick, scoring on their first three offensive drives to put

the game essentially out of reach in the second quarter.

3. Big plays on offense and defense

Homestead hung with the Bulldogs with strong offense early, but every

time Homestead got a big play, New Haven responded. First it was with

a defensive touchdown for 50 yards by Vasquez to put the Bulldogs up

by 13. Then, when Homestead scored to bring it back within one score,

New Haven got a perfect pass to Jordan Hogue. The receiver just outran

the Homestead coverage and quarterback Vance Shearer hit him perfectly

in stride for a 33-yard touchdown strike.

4. Defensive adjustments

Homestead was successful early against New Haven with its passing

game, especially over the middle of the field. The Spartans scored by

converting long 3rd and 4th downs with the passing game and found

seams across the middle repeatedly. New Haven's Hogue takes care of

one side of the ball, but eventually, the rest of the Bulldogs

secondary limited the Spartans from finding the gaps in the middle,

too, and Homestead's offense struggled once that happened.

5. Line play

New Haven ran effectively against Homestead offensively and also

continually put pressure on Homestead's Logan Ormsby. The Bulldogs had

the lines controlled last week, but responded this week by pushing

Homestead around on both sides of the ball.