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September 14, 2013

 

Homer savors a little history

Tops Lakers for 300th victory

FootballJoe McIntye/staff photographer
Homer’s Rob Hornberger (82) gets in the face of Skaneateles quarterback Tyler Parr (17) in the second quarter Friday at Butts Field.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

It was a historic night at George Butts Field in many ways Friday night.
Alec Bush rushed for 122 yards and one touchdown while Jake Casey ran for two scores as Homer Central downed visiting Skaneateles 23-13 on Hall of Fame Night. It was the 300th victory for the Trojan football program over 66 seasons and it was the first regular season loss for the Lakers in the past three years.
“It was a great win and it’s great to be part of the 300th win for Homer football,” Casey said. “I was fortunate to have my number called and I just wanted to make the most of each carry. My O-line made some great holes for me. Chris Brown was a great lead back and things went my way and the team’s ways tonight.”
Homer is now 2-0 on the season, while Skaneateles falls to 1-1 after the non-league match-up.
The Trojan defense was strong most of the night. The first Skaneateles drive ended with Connor Simonetta picking off Laker quarterback Tyler Parr’s second pass of the game. Homer failed to capitalize on the opportunity.
The next Laker drive saw Parr sacked twice. Chris Birchenough and Rob Hornberger combined on the first sack. Dylan Hotchkiss and Matt Norris recorded the second sack.
After a short punt, the Trojans took over at the Skaneateles 42, Bush clipped 21 yards off that distance to give Homer a first down at the Laker 21. Casey only touched the ball five times and gained 21 yards, but his six-yard dash gave the Trojans a 7-0 lead with 2:50 left in the first quarter.
Skaneateles came back to cut the lead to 7-6 with 7:02 left in the first half. Parr overcame a third-sack by Norris and Hornberger midway through the drive to toss a nine-yard scoring pass to Nick Hyland, but the extra-point kick was wide.
On the next play of scrimmage, Bush found a seam and cut outside. After a 58-yard run down the right sideline, Homer had a 14-6 lead. That score would hold up through halftime.
HOMER HELD SKANEATELES to 25 yards rushing and 44 yards passing in the first half. The second was worse as the Lakers gained 14 yards on the ground and 47 in the air.
Skaneateles fumbled on its first play of scrimmage after halftime and the Trojans recovered the ball. Three plays later, Casey ran the counter for 18 yards and his second touchdown of the game. Homer led 21-6 with 7:23 left in the third quarter.
Turnovers were key and it was the one thing Skaneateles coach Mike Olley hoped his team wouldn’t do in this contest.
“We could never really get started tonight,” Olley said. “We played a lot of the game in our half of the field. Homer did a great job of keeping us sealed. We couldn’t get over the 50. It was a fumble, an interception or a missed block. We had a total breakdown of things we do. Homer had a good game plan and we did not respond.”
After a three and out by Skaneateles, the Trojans chewed up the remaining five minutes of the quarter and the first minute of the fourth with a drive that stalled at the Laker 14. Gage Root carried the ball a number of times during this stretch and rushed for a couple of first downs and he powered through his tacklers. Root gained 72 yards on the night on seven carries.
On second down after the change of possession, Root got a clean shot at Parr and sacked the quarterback with a vicious hit for a six yard loss. On the next play, Parr was in the shotgun as the snap sailed over his head and into the end zone. Parr fell on the ball for a safety and a 23-6 Trojan lead with 10:23 left in the game.
Forced to throw, Parr tested the Trojan secondary, which responded positively. He completed four-of-nine attempts for 41 yards before leaving the game with an injury, but Jake Hayes broke up two of the passing attempts and Adam Raymond stripped a receiver of a potential catch. Devin Callahan came on for Parr and did not complete on of his four passing attempts. One was broken up by Chris Brown from his linebacker spot.
“WE GOT A SCOUTING sheet Tuesday night,” Hayes said. “We studied that and we worked hard in practice. He carried over into the game.”
Twice Hayes delivered big hits on the receiver after the catch, allowing no additional yards after the catch.
“I concentrated on the guy’s waist,” Hayes said. “I usually watch the head. Tonight I watched the waist and it paid off.”
The Lakers did complete the 18-play, 82-yard scoring drive with the help of a 24-yard Parr to Collin Jones hook-up before Parr left the game, a fourth-down penalty by the Trojans that gave the Lakers a first down and a 23-yard gain by Connor Hill on a double-reverse to the Trojan four-yard line on another fourth down. Matt Lee capped the drive with four-yard run on third down with 3:23 to go. Lee rushed for 174 yards last week against Canastota, but he was held to 26 yards on 12 carries by the Homer defense
Skaneateles tried the onsides kick, but Matt Suits recovered the ball for the Trojans. Homer killed the remaining time on the clock. The Trojans were forced to punt, but Skaneateles muffed the boot and Drew Becker recovered for Homer to seal the win.
Parr completed just 10-of-25 passing attempts for 91 yards, well short of his 13-for-26, 164 yard effort last week.
Homer will return to Section 3 Class B West Division for the rest of the season, The first step is a home game next Friday against Chittenango, kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. The game will be televised by Time-Warner Cable.

 

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