October 12, 2011 —
By Bill Mullaly
It is very hard to play a perfect football game but the Hudson Tigers came darn close to doing that on Friday night at Ida. Hudson won easily taking a 55-0 victory as they pounded the Bluestreaks and left them feeling blue when the game was over. The Tigers beat up Ida both on the scoreboard and on the field as they were far more physical and they leveled some vicious hits on the Bluestreaks. It was all part of what we call Hudson Tiger football. Credit the Ida eleven for getting up after some of the hits because lesser foes might not have. The Tigers punished and pummeled the Bluestreaks (4-3) who came into the game with hopes of pulling an upset and ruiningHudson’s perfect LCAA title run. It didn’t happen asHudsonwon its third consecutive unblemished LCAA title with another 5-0 unbeaten league season. This marks the third year in a rowHudsonwon all five of its league games matching the 1974-76 Tigers who were the last teams to win three league titles without a loss during league play. “Winning the LCAA is always special and something we take pride in,” said Tiger head coach Chris Luma. “We love those league titles and winning it outright is even more special. To get another shutout in this game is a testament to the fine play of our football and the preparation of defensive coordinator Danny Rogers. We take it as a challenge to shut down teams and the defense did the job again.”
This was the seventh win in a row this season forHudsonand its 21st overall dating back to the first game of last year. The number two or three ranked Tigers in Division 7, depending on the poll, showed they are primed to make another deep post-season run. “We are playing well and we are showing good balance on offense both running and passing the ball,” said Luma, who picked up his eighth LCAA crown as a coach since taking over in 1997 atHudson.
Tigers bomb Bluesteaks
Hudsonhad plenty of heroes and one of the most unlikely was 5-6, 135 pound dynamo named Robert Stein. He is the team’s special teams specialist and on Friday he recovered two squib kicks and both times helped the Tigers gain great field position. “It just makes you real happy to see a kid like that do something special like that to help the team,” said Luma about the senior speedster who twice bolted downfield to pounce on loose pigskins.
Hudsonscored first as senior halfback Lucas Sparapani zipped 57 yards to paydirt on the first play of the game forHudson. Burke Hart hit the point after touchdown and with 11:45 to go in period one it was alreadyHudsonup 7-0.Hudsondid the squib kick thing and almost got the ball on the ensuing kickoff. Ida appeared impressive as they racked up three first downs and looked to be moving the ball but Danny’s D stepped up and stuffed them on a fourth and one at theHudson20-yard line. Then the Tigers went to work going 80 yards in just seven plays. James Herron had a 50-yard gain from the Tiger 20 down to the Ida 30-yard line. Then Sparapani busted free for 20 yards down to the Ida 10-yard line. A holding penalty set the Tigers back but senior signal caller Alex Leathers threw a perfect pass and junior tight end Justin Boies made a superb leaping catch in the back of the end zone. The great pass play resulted in a 17-yard touchdown with 4:33 to go in the first quarter. Hart was good again on the PAT for a 14-0 lead.
Then a squib kickoff by Hart ended up in a huge pile but out came little “Steiny” holding the ball for the recovery.Hudsonhad the ball at the Ida 41-yard line and then Herron went 19 yards to the 22-yard line. Sparapani went the final five yards for the score. Hart was good and with 1:41 left in the opening stanza it wasHudsonon top 21-0. SoonHudsongot the ball back and would score again early in period two. Leathers went 46 yards on a keeper around the left end down to the three-yard line. Then Herron went in for the final three yards for the touchdown. With 8:14 until halftime the Tigers lead 28-0 as Hart was good again on the PAT.
Hudsonwas able to stop the Bluestreaks on a fourth down and then took over at the Ida 42-yard line. Quickly, the Tigers completed a 22-yard pass from Leathers to Sparapani. Then Varney went 10 yards to the ten-yard line. Senior standout Marco Quevedo sprinted the final 10 yards for the touchdown with 5:24 left before intermission. Hart was good and it was 35-0 and that ended up as the halftime score.
Hudsonhad to kickoff to start the second half and the squib kick ended up bouncing around and a big scrum for the ball ensued. After the referees unpiled all the players it was “Steiny” handing the ball to the nearest referee and Hudson had the ball back and Stein had his second recovery. The Tigers had the ball at their own 46-yard line and then went 54 yards in eight plays. The last 28 came on a spectacular pass play as Leathers lofted the ball up in the air and Herron ran under it for a touchdown catch. The Hart kick was good and it was 42-0 and the clock was running as Ida was being mercied with 6:14 left in period three.
The Tigers forced a punt and then had the ball back at its own 33-yard line. On a fourth and three at their own 40-yard line the Tigers went for it. Joel Varney busted loss for 59 yard to the Ida one-yard line on the last play of period three. Then on second down Varney found the end zone for a lead of 49-0 with a good kick by Hart with 11:14 to play.
The Tiger defense was laying the lumber on the Streaks who were starting to feel blue late in the game. An Ida attempted punt was downed at its own 17-yard line as the punter took a knee on a low snap. The Tigers had to go just 17 yards to score and did with John Martinez going the last yard for the touchdown with 5:01 to play. The only blemish on an otherwise perfect win was a missed extra point kick that left the score at 55-0. The clock kept running andHudsonleft Ida as the unbeaten LCAA champions for 2011.
Reviewing the numbers
This was the most points ever scored against Ida besting the 54 scored in 1985. The previous largest margin of victory was 49-0 over Ida in 2004 so the 55-0 win beats that mark. The Tigers are now 23-6 in the 29 overall meeting with the Streaks.
Hudsonran the ball 39 times for 393 yards. Sparapani led the way with eight carries for 105 yards, while Herron ran for 98 yards on seven attempts and Varney went 89 yards on ten carries. Leathers added 55 yards on three carries and Quevedo gained 26 yards on five attempts.Martinezcarried the ball three times for eight yards. Leathers was three of three passing for 51 yards and one score. Boies had the catch for 17 yards, Hart a grab for six yards and Sparapani a catch for 28 yards. On defense it was Varney with 12 tackles, while Kameron Bellfy had nine and Daniel Komarynski had seven. Devan Marry and Sparapani both had six stops, while Hart had five and big Zach Rieger added four.
Jackson County Parma Western simply known as Western will hostHudsonand this will be the first ever meeting in football between the two schools. Western is 4-3 and needs a win overHudsonto stay in the playoff hunt. Western has had very little football success in its history and has never made the playoffs. The have a star runner named Austin Maynard who has gained over 600 yards this season on the ground. The Western coach reportedly was quoted in an area newspaper calling him the ‘best running back in southernMichigan.” It will be a comment he will regret on Friday as Danny’s D will shut him down and the Tigers will win again. Western is located just outside to the north of Spring Arbor and they will host the Tigers asHudsonhits the road again. Prediction: Tigers 42, Panthers 7.