Every once in a while, a team is fortunate to have one exceptional running back that has the ability to change a game in an instant.
When a team has two, well, it just doesn’t seem fair.
Homestead dominated the line of scrimmage on Friday and continued their quest for perfection with a 41-10 victory over Cedarburg.
The Highlanders were led by senior running backs Shaquille Cole and Jay Schneider, who racked up a combined 364 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
“We think both Shaquille Cole and Jay Schneider are pretty darn special,” Homestead coach Dave Keel said. “Every time they touch the ball they’ve got the ability to go how ever many yards it takes. They showed that tonight. I’m real pleased with what they did, that’s for darn sure. They’re awful good.”
Homestead led 6-3 with 2 minutes and 46 seconds left in the second quarter when Schneider broke the game wide open.
The speedster torched the Cedarburg defense for a 55-yard scramble and gave his team a 13-6 lead.
“We know the running backs really had a bunch of pressure with the new quarterbacks coming in ... Homecoming ... it’s their first varsity start,” Schneider said. “So we were like, ‘We’ve really got to make some magic happen on this field. We’ve got to run hard every play.’”
The returning All-Conference running back had an eye-popping 201 rushing yards on 12 attempts in the game.
Schneider knew whom to credit for his success.
“Offensive line, big time,” Said Schneider, who averaged 16.8 yards per carry. “I heard the play call, read the blocking, perfect blocking every time. I mean everybody was spot on. When everyone does their assignment, plays work. So there the holes were.”
After rushing for 15 yards last week against Grafton, Cole responded with 20 attempts for 163 yards on the ground.
Cole kicked things off for the Highlanders when he broke free from a defender and dashed 47 yards down the left side of the field to put Homestead up, 6-3.
Schneider’s longest run came at 9:43 in the third quarter when on 4th and 1, the senior came upon defensive traffic, cut left and sprinted down the sideline for a 70-yard score to give Homestead a 20-3 lead.
Schneider scored his third touchdown on an 11-yard run while Cole recorded his second score on a 16-yard scamper.
Cedarburg had its own success on the ground with junior Hudson Walton tallying 170 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown from three yards out.
“Hudson, when he puts his mind to it, can be a very special back and a special player,” Cedarburg coach Brian Leair said. “He stepped up. When he gets his mind right, he can really dominate a game and he made some big plays tonight. Just wish we could have finished some inside. That’s really what we needed.”
The Bulldogs were able to penetrate Homestead’s red zone on three separate drives in the first half but only came away with a field goal.
“Typically (Walton) does a pretty good job of (scoring in the red zone),” Leair said. “Our line does a good job, but we just couldn’t finish some of those drives.”
Keel was pleased with his team’s ability to shut down Cedarburg close to the goal line.
“(Cedarburg) got in the red zone a couple of times,” Keel said. “They got inside the five and we stopped them. Then we throw a pick, took (Cedarburg) right back down there, which was totally my fault. Then we shut them down again. Really pleased with how our defense responded tonight.”
Seniors David Anderson, Colten Poellinger and junior Luke Lebesch all snagged interceptions for the Highlanders.
Homestead improves to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the North Shore while Cedarburg falls to 3-2 overall and 2-2 in conference.
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