Homedale fumbled the opening kickoff, setting up a Fruitland touchdown four plays later.
It wasn’t the start Homedale coach Matt Holty had been hoping for, but it didn’t take long for the miscue to be forgotten.
The Trojans scored four unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter to hand Fruitland a 33-14 loss in a 3A Snake River Valley showdown between unbeaten teams Friday night at Fruitland High.
Homedale senior quarterback Lawsen Matteson, a two-time All-Idaho first-team selection, picked apart the Fruitland defense, completing 26-of-39 passes for 314 yards and five touchdowns without an interception.
“The kids just wanted to prove a point that it wasn’t luck (when they beat Fruitland) two years ago,” Holtry said. “It was a matter of doing the right things, preparing the right way and executing at a high level.”
After Fruitland scored on a 9-yard run by senior Rocko Mackenzie to take a 7-0 lead with 10:14 to play in the first quarter, the Trojans went to work. On third-and-8 from their own 25, Matteson hit senior receiver John Collett with a pass along the Trojans’ sideline, and Collett turned the 25-yard toss into a 74-yard scoring play.
Before Fruitland could catch its breath, Homedale’s Kendall Freelove came up with a fumble recovery on the Grizzlies’ next play from scrimmage, setting up the second of three straight TD passes from Matteson to Collett.
Collett finished with a team-leading 177 receiving yards, and Garrett Carter and Wyatt Wolfe also added touchdown grabs as Homedale racked up 464 yards of offense.
“The way that these kids have played all year and really all summer, is they’ve been in that attack mode,” Holtry said. “Anytime, obviously, you get a team that can play with that confidence and that attack mode, you just kind of let them go. “
Homedale led 27-7 after the first quarter and 33-14 at halftime despite playing without starting running back Josh Tolmie, who was out with an injury. Junior Jacob Furlott filled in well, collecting 181 yards on 30 carries.
“He did outstanding,” Matteson said of Furlott. “It’s so good when you have a balance to your offense, passing and running.”
With the win, Homedale (5-0, 2-0) maintains a share of first place in the 3A SRV with fellow unbeaten Emmett (5-0, 2-0). The Huskies host the Trojans at 7 p.m. next Friday.
“This definitely boosts our confidence, but now we’ve got to prepare for Emmett,” Matteson said.