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THE PIGSKIN PROPHET: Stout Homestead D may have a say in Saturday's clash with Snider

Homestead's defense has been suffocating through the first month of the season. Is it ready for the Snider challenge? (By Josh Gales for The News-Sentinel)
Homestead's defense has been suffocating through the first month of the season. Is it ready for the Snider challenge? (By Josh Gales for The News-Sentinel)
The Pigskin Prophet
The Pigskin Prophet
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:01 am

So the big story is Jiya Wright against that vaunted, scary-looking Snider defense, eh?

All the statistics would point that way, but The Pigskin Prophet is going to take a different look at Saturday's showdown at Lucas Oil Stadium.

There is no arguing the fact that Wright has been exceptional at quarterback for the Spartans. But let's not gloss over the storyline that is the Homestead defense.

Over the past two weeks, Bishop Luers and Bishop Dwenger combined for a total of three points against Homestead. The last team to limit the Bishops like that offensively was the 2003 Snider Panthers, who beat Luers 35-0 and Dwenger 49-0.

This defense is more than just Tico Brown and 10 no names.

"I'd say they're the hottest team in the league right now," Snider coach Kurt Tippmann said. "They played two of the perennial powers in the conference and held them to three points.

"They're as hot as a team can be. That makes for a tough, tough challenge."

The Pig isn't spouting off at the snout here in an effort to convince you that the Homestead O vs. Snider D showdown won't be a big part of Saturday's game. What this swine IS saying is that, while the Spartans haven't played a defense the caliber of Snider, the Panthers haven't seen a defense as stout either.

Let's start with Brown. He and Concordia's Trey Freeman are two of the most troublesome defensive linemen in the area. In just four games, the 6-foot-3, 280-pound senior monster has 27 tackles and nine tackles for loss. That's ridiculous.

All the more impressive? Brown is doing it with a largely inexperienced group of line mates around him.

At linebacker, Homestead has a budding star in sophomore Cam Rogers. The kid is strong at a touch over 200 pounds and excels both around the line of scrimmage and in the open field.

Meanwhile, the secondary is stout, with junior Cam Shannon another underclassmen who will only continue to get better.

"We had to change schemes early because we had so many banged up defensive linemen," Homestead coach Chad Zolman said. "I think Games 1 or 2 were about finding out what we were decent at. Every team has its own personality and things they do well. This group, one of the things they do really well is swarm to the ball."

The Pig saw that firsthand last week. The Spartans bottled up a Bishop Dwenger offense that, while not armed with significant firepower, still has the talent and coaching to make mediocre defensive units look silly.

But The Pig surely isn't alone when he says that the Snider offense is a much bigger test than Dwenger or Luers or any other team Homestead has taken on thus far. The linemen are bigger, the skill position players are faster and the quarterback is a significant threat to sling it downfield with effectiveness.

How do the Spartans handle it?

The Pig is nervously munching on turkey legs in anticipation of finding out this Saturday.

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