Blitz is trying to find a way to write this column without sounding nonsensical or hysterical.
Sometimes when we witness something great, it is tough for us to hold back crowning it as “the best we have ever seen.”
Yes, this bear has seen a lot of football. He watched Vaughn Dunbar make defenders look like kids from PAL. He saw Cory Jacquay brutalize would-be tacklers with his physicality. He witnessed Jaylon Smith destroy ball carriers with ease, then help them up off the turf.
But Blitz feels as if he has not seen as dominant of a performance by a single player on both sides of the ball than what this furry mammal witnessed in Homestead’s 38-14 victory over Carroll to win the Class 6A Sectional 3 title on Friday.
On a cold night (speaking of, bears hibernate in the winter. It feels like winter in early November, which is just ridiculous, but I digress), Jake Archbold heated up. His stat line is dumbfounding:
- A 23-yard touchdown run
- A 12-yard receiving TD
- A 38-yard passing TD
- A 54-yard interception return for a touchdown
- 229 total yards
- Four total interceptions
- Four tackles
It was a performance that added up to one of the most dominant nights on the gridiron for a single player that this bear has ever seen.
We at Outside the Huddle have written a lot about Archbold over the course of the this year. Here is a kid who sacrificed the starting QB spot (he split time with Luke Goode last season) and committed himself to helping the Spartans (11-0) any way he can. Archbold has done so all season, but Friday against Carroll was next level.
In the first half, Homestead mixed in some Wildcat with Archbold. With Carroll rushing three and dropping eight in coverage most of the first half in an attempt to limit the pass, Archbold was able to carve up the Chargers on the ground, finishing with 60 yards on eight carries.
If that wasn’t enough, Archbold lined up in the slot and in the backfield beside Goode at times, hurting Carroll in that way. He even took a snap out of the Wildcat, faked a run then reached back for a long strike downfield for a first down, with the drive eventually leading to a touchdown.
After halftime, Archbold’s defensive prowess took center stage. Following a Carroll score and a Homestead turnover, the Chargers trailed just 17-7 and were looking to cut the lead into single digits. But an Archbold interception killed the drive.
The senior would add three more, including the return for a score in the fourth quarter that put the cap on Homestead’s first sectional title since 2016 and Carmel looming next week.
Perhaps the most poignant moment for Blitz on Archbold’s magical night came in the first half, long before the game was secured. Following the 12-yard touchdown pass from Goode to Archbold, the two soared in the air for a high-five, arms lofted above their heads. Here were two guys, who had battled at the same position for over a year, celebrating a big play in a big game on the big stage.
Goode has been sensational all season long for the undefeated Spartans, but Friday was Archbold’s night.
May we remember it for years to come.
These opinions represent those of Blitz and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Blitz on Twitter at Blitz_OTH