BLITZ: Bishop Dwenger has a SAC problem, and its name is Homestead

Homestead quarterback Peyton Slaven slips through the line into the end zone for a touchdown in the second half of Homestead’s 37-21 win over Bishop Dwenger on Friday at Shields Field. (Photo by Chad Ryan)

Homestead simply owns Shields Field, and with it, dominance of Bishop Dwenger.

That may be exaggerating things a bit, but after the Spartans’ 37-21 victory over the Saints on Friday – the team’s third such conquest of Bishop Dwenger in the last three years – there is no denying the fact that Coach Chad Zolman’s squad is currently dominating this series.

And of the three victories since 2019, this one was the most dominant for the Spartans. While Bishop Dwenger did strike first thanks to a 58-yard touchdown run by K.J. Tippmann on the game’s first drive, Homestead’s size, physicality and execution propelled the Spartans victory to keep pace one game behind Bishop Luers in the SAC race.

Blitz has been around a long time in one form or another. He has seen Bishop Dwenger have its way with league opponents on the regular. That’s what makes it so unexpected when it goes the other way. Up front, the Spartans mauled the Saints’ smaller linemen.

Relying on the quickness of its linebackers and secondary worked against the likes of South Side, North Side and Wayne to open the season, but Bishop Dwenger could not consistently get pressure on Peyton Slaven (15 of 21, 211 yards, two TDs) in the backfield. Nor could the Saints do much at the line to contain wideouts Nate Anderson and Gage Sparrow. Consistently playing in soft coverage 5-6 yards off receivers to try and avoid getting beat downfield, the Spartans’ duo still combined for 158 yards and a pair of scores.

Homestead slot back Gage Sparrow, right, makes a catch as Bishop Dwenger’s Noah Johnson reaches for the football during the Spartans’ 37-21 win over the Saints on Friday at Shields Field. (Photo by Chad Ryan)

Homestead has laid a blueprint to beat Bishop Dwenger that few other teams can match. Not every team has the size of the Spartans up front – which average 6-2 and 240-plus pounds. Not many squads execute with the precision that Homestead is able to. And, let’s not gloss over the obvious, no other team in the SAC has offensive coordinator Bill Skelton.

It was more of the same on Friday. Slaven outplayed the revolving door at quarterback across the field, with Bishop Dwenger employing four different players behind center – Evan Springer, Bohde Dickerson, Tippmann and Sam Campbell. While the Saints were able to put together a few scoring drives once Homestead took a 28-7 lead in the second half, the end result was never much in doubt – especially when Anderson returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth.

Bishop Dwenger is 0-3 against Homestead in its last three meetings. Over that same timespan, the Saints are 19-0 against conference foes in the regular season. To add insult to injury, both of their losses at Shields Field since it opened in 2019 have come at the hands of the Spartans.

With both now having one loss, Bishop Dwenger and Homestead need help when it comes to competing for an SAC championship. However, the Saints control their destiny with the Battle of the Bishops still on the docket this season.

But long term, Bishop Dwenger has a Homestead problem, one that it will have to find a way to solve before the two meet up again in 2022.

Homestead’s Brett Fuchs, tries to make a cut in front of Bishop Dwenger’s Gavin Groves in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game at Shields Field. (Photo by Chad Ryan)

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

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