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
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.