If he was nervous before the kickoff, Homer Central senior tailback Lars Roos didn’t show it Friday.
Making his a first varsity start in the backfield due to leading rusher John Horner III being out of action with a foot injury, the Trojan senior rushed for 188 yards and one touchdown on just 13 carries to power Homer to a 52-8 Section 3 B West Division romp over Solvay inside Earl Hadley Stadium. With his second straight 50-plus points output, fourth-ranked Homer improves to 3-0 in division and overall play.
“I had a few btterflies, but I like to turn that into positive energy,” Roos said. “I just wanted to run as hard as I can. Maybe a few nerves, but once the whistle blew, I had everything become positive energy.
“I definitely can’t take all the credit. My line really executed tonight. We took advantage of all opportunities. Everyone who touched the ball tonight did their job correctly. We all just want to be successful. Now we look forward to the next game.”
“It was tough missing John because we all love him,” senior right guard-defensive lineman and team captain Vincent Basile said. “Lars is a good running back. He hits the hole, runs hard and doesn’t think to much about it. When he sees an opening, he just takes it. We just had good communication on the line.
“The senior leadership has helped us come together on the line. All the juniors that fill spots are doing a real good job too. This team is really coming together and we all like each other a lot.”
The next-man-up principle is endorsed by Homer head coach Gary Podsiedlik, who loves what he seeing through three games.
“That really has been the highlight of the last two weeks,” Podsiedlik said. “Our senior and third-team kids really know their assignments. They make some mistakes, but they know what to do. Every guy is giving everything they have every play they are in there. That’s how we get better in practice.
“In some ways, our scout team has had better focus than our starters. Not that the starters have been bad, but the focus of the scout team to know the opponent’s offense and defense gives out starters such great looks at what to expect. It helped us get after things early tonight. How can you not love that?”
In the first half, Homer moved the ball while they stymying Solvay (0-2 B West, 1-2 overall) offensively and defensively. The Bearcats managed just 27 rushing yards and 35 passing yards in the first half. Their only real scoring threat came with 8:51 left in the first half, but Tucker O’Donnell intercepted quarterback Jordan Tryon’s pass on the goal line and returned it 25 yards to set up the Trojan offense.
Homer took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. O’Donnell connected with Dante Yacavone of a 41-yard fourth down touchdown strike to start things off, but O’Donnell missed the extra point kick with 7:06 left in the quarter. The Trojans made it 14-0 on their next possession when senior fullback Zachary Barber raced 12 yards for the score. O’Donnell flipped a 2-point conversion pass to Walter with 1:57 to play in the first quarter.
Homer started the second quarter with great field position at the Bearcat 39-yard line after four yard punt return by Zach Mallory. Two plays later, Roos broke free for a 24 yard dash to paydirt and a 21-0 Homer cushion. After O’Donnell’s interception. Roos had a 31-yard run and Barber sprinted through the center of the Solvay defense for 44 yards and his second touchdown of the game as the Trojan lead grew to 28-0 with 8:22 left in the quarter.
Basile would stop the next Solvay drive with a fumble recovery at the Bearcat 27. Two runs by Charles Lines netted 24 yard before Dominick Natale sprinted the final three yards for a 35-0 advantage with 6:45 left in the first half.
Homer would gain 281 yards on the ground on the first half and 486 for the game to go with 55 passing yard. Lars had 160 rushing yard in the first half and saw limited action in the second half as did most of the starters. The 486 rushing yards is fourth-best in a single game in school history and the 541 total offensive yards is fifth-best all-time.
O’Donnell kicked a 25-yard field goal to open the second-half scoring and Lines added a three-yard run with five seconds left in the third quarter to push the lead to 45-0.
The last Trojan touchdown came with four minutes left in the game as Gabe Cline broke loose for a 40-yard scoring run and a 52-0 cushion with the kick.
Solvay got on the scoreboard with 2:09 remaining. A defensive back had the perfect position for an interception at the Trojan two-yard line, but the ball tipped off his hands and into the waiting arms of Nate Gardner to complete the 29-yard passing play from Tryon. Jaimen Bliss ran for the two-point conversion.
In addition to Roos, Lines had 10 carries for 70 yards and Barber netted 55 yards on just three carries. In all, 11 different Homer players carried the ball and gained yards. O’Donnell completed two of his three passing attempts for 55 yards, with Yacavone catching both passes.
Solvay finished with 65 rushing yard and 64 passing yards. Tryon completed 6-of-20 passes. Gardner caught three passes for 43 yards. Bliss was the leading rusher with 11 carries for 28 yards.
Homer will face a stiffer test this Friday when Westhill visits George Butts Field in a 7 p.m. start. The Warriors (2-1 B West and overall) are coming off a 20-14 win over Syracuse Tech Central last night.