October 27, 2010 —
By Bill Mullaly
The Hudson Tigers beat arch rival Addison 33-7 on Friday night at legendary Thompson Field. The win was the 23rd straight regular season win for Hudson and capped off a second straight 9-0 regular season.
The second consecutive 9-0 regular season saw a bit of history accomplished as it had been 34 years since a pair of Tiger football teams went 9-0 in back-to-back seasons. The last time that happened was way back in 1975 and 1976. Congratulations to these current Tigers for their major achievement.
“I am very proud of the team for doing the job all year long in the regular season,” said Tiger head coach Chris Luma. “We played some very good teams and Addison was another one of the tough teams we were able to beat. I want the boys to enjoy this and then start getting ready for the playoffs. Going 9-0 two years in a row is certainly a major accomplishment they should be proud of.” Now, the Tigers can focus on the second season as they get ready to host Reading (7-2) tomorrow (Friday) night at home at Thompson Field.
Hudson had little trouble with its former chief LCAA rival of 34 years ago when the games played between the two schools meant a whole lot with a Tiger winning streak on the line. Nonetheless, the win last Friday was big for a Tiger team that is dead set on going 14-0 and winning a Division 7 state championship on Thanksgiving weekend.
Addison fights hard
Hudson almost went the entire first quarter without scoring but finally got on the scoreboard when fullback Dimitri Nealy pounded his way in from three yards out with just 57 seconds left in period one. The Drew Milligan point after was good for a 7-0 lead as period one was ready to run out.
The scoring drive lasted nine plays covering 48 yards. The Tigers scored again on a nice pass play from quarterback Jimmy Williams to halfback Camden McCaskey who got free out of the backfield for a sweet 34-yard touchdown reception on a well-placed ball by Williams.
Milligan’s PAT kick was blocked leaving Hudson up 13-0 with 5:56 to halftime. This scoring drive went 69 yards using up eight plays. The Tigers needed a bit more cushion against a stubborn Panther defense that gave yardage little by little and made Hudson earn all it got. Milligan ran in a 24-yard touchdown with just 3:01 to intermission. The PAT run failed making it a 19-0 game at halftime.
The third scoring drive went 27 yards on two plays and was set up by an excellent pass interception by safety Alex Leathers who stepped in front of a Panther pass and picked it off.
Then in the third quarter the Tigers scored again as Milligan went 20 yards on a run and he ran in the two-pointer and this one was all but over with Hudson up 27-0. With 4:56 left in period three the Tigers ended a 35-yard scoring drive taking just four plays.
Addison didn’t want to get shutout two years in a row so they went 62 yards in just four plays to score on a two-yard run by Travis Wilkerson. The touchdown came with 3:18 left in the third quarter. The kick was good making it 27-7 and giving the Panthers some faint hope.
Hudson punted the ball away to Addison and the Panthers looked to be moving again until McCaskey made a big play. He picked off a Panther pass and made a good return setting up the final score of the game.
On the final play of the third quarter it was McCaskey scoring on a short five-yard run to end the game’s scoring at 33-7 as the kicked failed. McCaskey’s interception return went all the way down to the five-yard line and he scored on the next play.
A look at the numbers
Hudson ran the ball 47 times for 210 yards, while Addison had 32 carries for 58 yards against a very tough Danny’s D that shut down the Panther attack. Hudson was two of five passing for 43 yards with the big one, the 34-yarder to McCaskey. The other reception was by Milligan for nine yards. Sandor Heistan hit the pass to Milligan and Williams had the TD aerial to McCaskey.
For Addison they were 10 of 20 passing for 153 yards with two costly interceptions included. Milligan was held in check by Addison but still amassed 110 yards on 16 carries, while Nealy had 62 tough yards on 16 attempts. McCaskey totaled just 26 yards on six carries. Heistan ran four times for 15 yards, while Williams was three for nine yards and Marco Quevedo had two yards on one carry.
Strangely, Hudson punted three times to just two for Addison. Hudson had 12 first downs to 10 for the Panthers. Hudson lost 26 yards on four penalties and Addison was set back 14 yards on just one flag.
The Tiger offense was not as sharp as usual due to a pesky Panther defense but Hudson didn’t have to score much with Danny’s D doing its job to near perfection.
Burke Hart continues his fine play with ten tackles and he was in on two sacks. Linebacker Grant Benschoter also had ten stops, while defensive end Matthew Smith had nine tackles and Joel Varney eight. Two of Varney’s tackles were on kickoff returns were he had some great solo tackles. Milligan added five tackles, Jordan Lake five and Nathaniel Osborne and Meiko McDaniel four each. Smith had two sacks and was a general menace for the Panthers all night long.
Hudson will host Reading on Friday at 7:00 at home in the district semifinal contest. The Rangers are not the same they were last year when Hudson won 40-0. This Ranger team is not as good but they are still dangerous. They came to Hudson one year ago at 10-0 but left defeated.
The Rangers have been out-scored by Hudson 106-7 in two playoff games. In 2005 it was 66-7 and then there was last year. Look for more of the same this time as Reading doesn’t have the manpower to stay with Hudson. However, the Rangers do bring some impressive numbers into town. The had a 27-game regular season winning streak snapped back on week five losing to 9-0 Springport. They had not lost since the fourth game of the 2007 regular season until this year. Hudson has a 23-game regular season winning streak going right now.
Reading made the semifinals back in 2008 so they have recent playoff success going for them. They will be coming to Thompson Field for the third time in six years and they won’t like this trip either. Hudson gets a win and moves on to play in the district final against the winner of Petersburg-Summerfield-Detroit Loyola. Prediction: Tigers 49, Rangers 6.