FORT WAYNE — Despite the final numbers on the scoreboard that showed a 20-7 win, the Homestead Spartans had to be glad to see the tail lights on the Columbia City Eagle team bus vanish into the Aboite Township night as a game Eagle squad gave the IHSAA Class 6A state-ranked Spartans all the fight they wanted in Friday night’s Northeast Hoosier Conference football match up.
From the opening kickoff the Eagles showed no signs of being intimidated by the home-standing Spartans. The Eagles marched to the Homestead 34, with the big play being a 23-yard completion from quarterback Travis Herbst to Drew O’Dell. The Eagles fumbled, but two plays later the Spartans returned the favor, as Columbia City senior Dakota Goldwood recovered a Spartan fumble at the Homestead 33 yard line.
The Eagles moved the ball on the ground, with O’Dell ripping off 11 yards, and junior Braden Myer picking up where he left off last week, rumbling for 17 yards. With a third-and-goal at the Homestead 5 yard line, O’Dell took a pitch from Herbst and swept the left side putting the Eagles up 7-0 with 7:13 left in the first quarter.
An Eagle turnover set up the first Homestead score. A Columbia City overthrow ended up as a Homestead interception that gave the Spartans a first down on the Eagle 35-yard line.
Working with a short field, the Spartans went to the air, completing three consecutive passes, the last of which came on a blown Columbia City defensive assignment and resulted in a 15-yard Homestead touchdown that knotted the score at 7-7 with 11:56 left in the first half.
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