Central defeats Homestead 37-20

Akilah Laster | 10/10/2013, 9 a.m.
After hearing of Northwestern’s defeat of Norland, the Homestead Broncos, approached their game Saturday against the Central Rockets at Traz ...

After hearing of Northwestern’s defeat of Norland, the Homestead Broncos, approached their game Saturday against the Central Rockets at Traz Powell, with a newfound hope.

“Northwestern opened the door for us and we appreciate that,” Homestead coach Larry Coffey said with a smirk. “It’s huge because everyone is even now.”

That level-field, however, was quickly dismantled and so was Coffey’s smile when the Broncos (3-2, 0-2) found out the Rockets (4-1, 1-0) were who everyone said they were.

The fresh-legged Rockets offense mollywhopped the Broncos 37-20 in their first game back in Dade County since September.

“It’s always good to be back home,” said Dalvin Cook, one of Central’s prized running backs. “We have to get back to our winning streak.”

Central had not lost a game in Dade County since 2009 (Northwestern 22-14), but was stripped of that after an early loss to Booker T. Washington this season.

Cook, who was off to a slow start ending the first half with negative yardage, regrouped and joined partner Joseph “Novacaine” Yearby, in the thrashing of the Broncos defense with two second-half touchdowns.

“I just have to stay consistent,” Cook said.

The win puts Central expectedly at the top of district 16-6A, momentarily tied with Carol City, who is coming off of a bi-week.

While Central’s win was no surprise, the Broncos fared pretty well early in the game responding to the Rockets’ first touchdown, with one of their own. But Homestead’s inability to hold onto the ball in the red zone during a crucial drive, forced them to settle for a field goal going into the half.

Even with quarterback Maurice Alexander’s 230 passing yards on 14 of 25 passing, Homestead was unable to make headway.

Central’s defense stepped up with three interceptions and a fumble recovery at the hands of junior running back Olin Cushion.

“He’s player of the week this week,” Central coach Roland “Pattie” Smith said of Cushion. “We just have to continue to do what we have to do to be successful.”

Central’s defense however may need to tighten the reigns a bit after allowing at least 20 points in four of their five games.

“We can’t take anyone lightly,” Smith said. “I know Norland just lost so Heidelburg will do whatever he can to get ready for us.”

The Broncos are now in the bottom of the district, with a very faint light at the end of the tunnel.

Both Northwestern and Norland would have to lose one game and Carol City (3-2, 1-0) would have to lose two. Carol City still has three district games to play; if Norland beats Carol City, Homestead may have a viable chance because any team overcoming Central is not realistic.

Homestead will have to beat both Northwestern and Carol City which puts the ball somewhat in their court as well. They have the advantage over the Chiefs because they will play at home on October 18th, but their last district game against Northwestern on November 1st, will be back at “The Mecca”.

Last season Homestead skirted by Carol City 23-22, but loss to Northwestern 35-18 and was forced to go into a tie-breaker. Northwestern prevailed and went to the playoffs.

The Broncos will really need receivers Ermon Lane and Gilbert Johnson who were both scoreless Saturday to show why they are household names if they plan to see post season play for the first time since 2007. That will probably be the only way Coffey will grin again.