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Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Homestead’s Carlos Sanchez catches a 78-yard touchdown pass on the Spartans’ first offensive play Friday night against Huntington North.

Homestead strikes early, wins in rout

– Huntington North quarterback Lucas Long, flat on his back, placed both hands on his helmet as Homestead’s Matt Anderson returned an interception for a touchdown.

Causing quick frustration to the visitors, the host Spartans totally dominated the opening minutes, enough to propel them to a 49-6 blowout win Friday night in the season opener for both schools.

“Overall, a pretty good performance,” Homestead coach Chad Zolman said. “Our young defense played really well. There were big question marks coming in.”

Homestead quarterback Logan Ormsby, who passed for 20 touchdowns last year as a junior, threw three of his six TD passes in the first quarter, after which his team led 28-6.

“That quarter was pretty special,” Zolman said.

Ormsby connected with fleet-of-foot Carlos Sanchez for a 72-yard score on the Spartans’ first offensive snap. The lithe, 5-foot-9 Sanchez evaded defenders for roughly the final 25 yards before reaching the end zone.

After his defense forced a second three-and-out, Ormsby took over on his own 22. Turning this time to bigger targets, Ormsby hooked up with 6-1 John Lark for 28 yards and then, on Homestead’s third offensive play, found the massive Ben Skowronek for a 50-yard score.

“Ben’s the bigger type and can go get the ball,” Ormsby said. “Carlos has the speed. We’ve got a wide variety of athleticism.”

At 6-4 and 205 pounds, Skowronek, who caught five touchdowns as a sophomore last season, was unstoppable and had four TD receptions – all by halftime, when Homestead led 42-6.

By winning positioning battles against the Vikings’ secondary, Skowronek hauled in a 58-yard TD pass to make it 28-6 and a 46-yarder to make it 35-6 on the first series of the second quarter.

“I try to get leverage on the defensive backs,” he said. “Logan put the ball in the right spots. It was good blocking by the offensive line. We just clicked all-around.”

With 2:26 left before intermission, Skowronek hauled in a short pass in the right corner of the end zone.

The bright spots were few and far between for the Vikings, trying to snap out of the 5-5 rut they’ve been in every season since 2010.

Long, consoled by teammate Alex McCutcheon after the pick-six, responded with a 74-yard drive on the next series, capped by Brady Hill’s rushing touchdown. Homestead, however, blocked the point after to keep it 21-6.

Desperate, the Vikings tried a fake punt the next time they had the ball. It didn’t work and gave Homestead the ball near midfield. With 5:41 until the break, Denver Burkley blocked a short field goal try by the Spartans’ Jack Dugan.

After Homestead’s Jeffrey Watson closed the first half with a red-zone pick, the Spartans remained steady. Anderson registered another interception midway through the third quarter when Long was hit as he threw.

Sanchez beat Vikings cornerback Lucas Johnson for a 39-yard TD reception with 0.3 second left in the period to push the lead to 43 points – where it remained during a scoreless fourth quarter.

“We were eager for this game,” Skowronek said. “All this week, we couldn’t wait.”

cgoff@jg.net

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