November 26, 2021

Trojans’ balanced offense too much for Syracuse ITC

Rich Barnes/contributing photographer

The Homer Central varsity football team used the ground game and the air attack to record its first Section 3 B West Division victory of the season Friday night on George Butts Field.

Connor Matthews caught three touchdown passes from Dylan Yacavone while Logan Peck ran for two touchdowns as the Trojans collected a 34-22 win over Syracuse Institute of Technology Central on Homer Athletic Hall of Fame Night. Homer improves to 1-1 in division and overall play. ITC falls to 0-2 in the division and overall.

Peck jump- started the of- 22 offense with a 40 34 yard sprint for the score with 7:56 left in the first quarter. The sophomore tailback had 114 yards on 21 carries.

Yacavone and Matthews hooked up for the first time on a 25-yard toss and catch with 1:41 remaining in the first quarter. Yacavone was three-for-five passing in the game for 109 yards and three touchdowns. Matthews caught all three of Yacavone’s completions.

“Dylan is a real good quarterback,” Matthews said. “Tonight our o-line played amazing and gave him time to throw the ball. I was right where I needed to be.”

The first scoring pass looked like it was overthrown with the wind behind it, by Matthews chased the ball down in the back of the end zone with a lot of hustle.

The second Matthews-Yacavone scoring play came with 3:52 left in the first half. Matthews got behind the secondary and won a foot race to the end zone as the Trojans took a 27-0 lead.

Syracuse ITC got on the scoreboard with 44 seconds left in the half. Pierre Lobban broke free on a 33-yard run to the end zone. With the 2-pt. conversion, the Eagles (0-2 league and overall) trailed 27-8. at halftime. Lobban finished with 104 yards on 13 carries. He suffered an ankle injury in the second half and saw limited action.

Rich Barnes/contributing photographer

Homer’s Connor Matthews (14) catches a pass for a touchdown against Syracuse ITC’s Raquan Pride (4) during the rst half of Friday’s game. Matthews caught three touchdown passes in the Trojans’ 34-22 win.

“Connor is delivering in every phase of the game,” Homer coach Gary Podsiedlik said. “He is kicking the ball well on extra points and kickoffs, Connor had a great catch in the end zone last week and he had two interceptions on defense. He has speed and he’s got confidence. Those were great play calls by George (Schneider) and Tommy (offensive coordinator Tom Cottrell). They pulled him in so we had tight formations and the assumption by the defense was here comes Homer, they are going to try and pound us with their running game. With our play action, the safety bit on the play and Connor ran right by him. He didn’t let up and ran full speed through the end of the play.”

Homer took just three plays to score in its first possession of the third quarter. Af- ter two short runs. Matthews caught a third down pass from Yacavone and bolted into the end zone on a 44 yard pitch and catch for a 34-8 advantage.

“I’m glad to just be a part of a great team,” Matthews said. “We just need to take it one game at a time.”

Homer began substituting players more throughout the remainder of the game and ITC looked to countered Lobban’s injury. Enter Trejuer Sledge who scored on an 11 yard run with 5:51 left in the third quarter.

Sledge added a 12 yard run with 25 seconds remaining to make the game look closer than it was overall. Sledge had eight carries for 84 yards as the Eagles totaled 193 yards on 40 carries for the game. Homer ran the ball 45 times for 209 yards.

The Blue Collar Men for the week were Carsen Johnson on the line and Zach Apker for the non-lineman. Matthews was the game captain for Friday night’s game.

Homer will return to George Butts Field next Friday. Marcellus comes to town for the 7 p.m. kickoff.