September 22, 2011
By Bill Mullaly
The Hudson High School football Tigers pulled away from a slim seven-point halftime lead to roll post an out-manned Onsted team on Friday night at legendary Thompson Field. The Tigers again used a huge unanswered avalanche of points as they went from up 14-7 at halftime to take an easy 48-7 win. The Tigers scored the final 34 points in the rout of the winless Wildcats who with the loss fell to 0-3. Hudson with the routine win moves to 3-0 on the season. The Tigers keep racking up impressive numbers as this was the team’s 17th straight overall win, its 26th consecutive regular season win and its 30th win in its past 31 games. “We got after things a lot better in the second half and we started to execute like we are capable of,” said victorious Tiger head coach Chris Luma. “We just ran the basic stuff and relied on fundamental football and our defense really picked it up in the second half as well. I was very happy with the win and we are playing well right now. The backs ran hard, the line blocked well and the defense was solid all night long.”
Tigers top Cats
Hudson fumbled the opening kickoff but they were lucky to fall on it and not repeat the blunder from a week ago against Morenci. However, they would repeat what they did a week ago by scoring the final 34 points like they did against the Bulldogs. The Tigers quickly drove down for the first score of the game. A key defensive holding penalty kept alive the drive for the Tigers who scored on a 35-yard run by senior halfback James “Biscuit” Herron. On third and ten at the Onsted 45 Burke Hart was held going free for a pass play and Cats’ were flagged. Herron scored on the next play breaking a tackle to get into the end zone. Hart hit the PAT and it was 7-0 with 7:06 to play in period one. The drive went 79 yards in nine plays using 4:49 off the stadium clock.
Onsted soon had to punt but a bad snap ended up resulting in a great desperate punt for the Cats’. Hudson had good field position at its own 46-yard line but soon had to punt as well. Onsted got the ball back but they quickly punted and it was not a good one and Hudson took over at the Wildcat 41-yard line. Hudson took just eight plays to go 41 yards for the score ending on a run of 10 yards by Herron on a simple dive play off left tackle. Hart hit the point and it was 14-0 Tigers with 4:44 until halftime.
Onsted was quickly in trouble again as Tiger Zack Stanley dropped the Wildcat runner for a six-yard loss back to the Onsted 15-yard line on first down. A run netted no gain on second down and Onsted on third down went to the air and struck for a touchdown. Quarterback Travis Dietrich hooked up with Reese Klebba for an 85-yard catch and run for the touchdown. He caught the long bomb then got face-masked and kept going and then he scored. The point was good making it a ballgame at 14-7 with still 3:32 to halftime. Onsted had some momentum going into halftime down just seven in a game where they had very little offense to that point.
In the second half the Tigers quickly took control. The Tigers tried an onside kick but the Cats’ recovered at their own 43 for good field position. The game turned when Tiger safety Alex Leathers intercepted a pass at the Tiger 45-yard line. Hudson then went 55 yards in nine plays as Herron scored again this time from three yards out. Hart hit the PAT to make it 21-7 with 5:04 to go in period three. The Tigers added another score in period three as Herron ended a 58-yard drive by scoring his fourth touchdown of the game on a run of eight yards. The snap was bad making it still 27-7 with 49 ticks of the clock in period three. Hudson had gotten the ball back on a bad snap by Onsted and Joel Varney forced a fumble that was fallen on by Justin Boies.
In the fourth quarter the Tigers got the ball back and soon scored as a run by Leathers got the ball down to the one-yard line and sophomore fullback Jacob Morgan took it in from a yard out. Hart then caught a two-point pass from Leathers to make it 35-7 with 9:28 to play. Then the Tigers got six more quick points when cornerback Zack Stanley picked off a pass and raced 55 yards for the interception return. Hart hit the point making it 42-7 with 7:42 to play. Stanley returned a pass last week for a score and it is unofficial but believed to be the first time a Tiger player has returned a pass for a touchdown in two consecutive games. If not a school record it certainly is a rare occurrence for a Tiger defensive player. Now, up 35 points in the second half the mercy rule, running clock was in effect.
Hudson then scored on the second to the last play of the game as the reserves were simply running out the clock and Kameron Bellfy broke free on a simple dive play with 25 seconds left and he went in with 13 seconds left. He scored from 25 yards out. Hudson was not trying to run up the score but they were just giving some of the younger guys a few carries. Thus, for the extra point the Tigers just took a knee and didn’t even try to score. This left the final score at 48-7 for the Tigers third straight win over the Cats’ who last beat Hudson in 2008.
Looking at the numbers
Hudson ran the ball 53 times for 283 yards. Herron led the way with 18 carries for 127 yards. Varney ran the ball 13 times for 55 yards, while Marco Quevedo ran it 11 times for 38 yards and Bellfy had two carries for 29 yards. Leathers had four carries for 15 yards and John Martinez had three carries for 16 yards. In the passing department it was Leathers going three of three for 31 yards. Quevedo had a catch for 20 yards, while Herron had a catch for eight yards and Hart a grab for three yards.
Onsted was four of 12 passing for 130 yards.
On defense the Tigers were led by Hart with nine tackles, while Stanley had seven and Bellfy six stops. Varney, Devan Marry and Boies all had five stops. Boies added a sack of the quarterback. Onsted punted five times and Hudson just twice. Hudson had 15 first downs to the Cats’ four. Hudson was hit with two penalties for minus 25 yards, while Onsted had four flags for 35 lost yards.
“The win was nice and it showed we can play all four quarters despite our low numbers,” said Luma. “We are in good physical condition and the team is doing things right and it is showing, especially in the second half.”
A battle Royal
Up next is Blissfield and they are hurting. The Royals are just 1-2 and need to beat Hudson to salvage their season. Blissfield is coming off a loss by a 35-0 shellacking last week from Dundee. The Tiger-Royal rivalry was renewed in 2002 when Blissfield hired Ron Estes to run the show. Since, Estes took over Blissfield is 6-4 against Hudson and they are 4-1 in games at Blissfield. The teams played twice in 2007 over there. Hudson has not lost a regular season game since they fell to the Royals at Hudson in the fourth week of 2008. On paper it looks like a sure win for Hudson but don’t be lulled into complacency as Blissfield could pull off the upset, but they won’t. The Royal defense is awful giving up 53 points to Sand Creek in week one but they could rise to the occasion this week to slow down the Tigers, but they won’t. Coach Luma is 8-7 lifetime against the Royals but is just 3-5 in games played at Blissfield. There have been some classics in the past like the lightning game played two days later on Sunday in 1997 with Blissfield winning 15-10. The no scoreboard game in 2001 when the scoreboard would not work but that was because Hudson won 59-0 in 2001 after winning by the same score in 2000. In 2003 Blissfield beat Hudson and partied like it was 1999 after the game. This was the goal line stand game where Hudson scored but the refs refused to acknowledge it in a controversial ending with Hudson falling 12-7. That 2003 team ended up at the Dome in Pontiac.
Then in three straight games from 2005-07 the Royals shutout Hudson winning each time. Then later in 2007 they met in the playoffs with Hudson leading 6-0 before falling 14-6 in a game they out-played the Royals but still lost. Blissfield later that season went to Ford Field. Then in 2009 in an offensive slugfest it was Hudson throwing the final punch in a thrilling 35-30 win. Last year Hudson won 22-12 and that was as close as they came to losing until the final quarter of the state championship game with Ishpeming. Those games are history and the winner tomorrow (Friday) night remains a mystery but here is the how it will end. Prediction: Tigers 38, Royals 14.