HUDSON: Last year, Hudson sloshed its way in the rain to a 6-0 win at Bulldog Stadium in a muddy quagmire.
Rain fell again Friday but there were no such worries as the two teams played for the first time at Hudson Memorial Stadium, which has field turf.
Solid footing and great field position was all the Explorers needed as they dominated the rival Bulldogs 38-0 Friday night in a Northeast Ohio Conference River Division clash.
“It is unbelievable playing on this field. This is a blessing especially the way we play,” senior defensive end Adam Coberly said.
Ben Gedeon, a Michigan recruit, scored three touchdowns and rushed for 70 yards on 13 carries.
“Coming into our house, these fans have been awesome,” Gedeon said.
One reason the Explorers are having such a good season is their quarterback. Mitchell Guadagni, a sophomore, threw two touchdown passes in the second half. The first was a spectacular play with Tim Kennedy catching a 64-yard pass. Guadagni hit Gedeon for a 12-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and finished 17-of-27 for 197 yards. He has thrown 17 touchdown passes this season with just two interceptions.
“The coaches know what plays to run, and our receivers are getting open,” Guadagni said.
Hudson coach Ron Wright credits Guadagni.
“He has matured as each game goes,” Wright said. “He knows if a guy is open, and he [also] can move his feet and get out of trouble. He has great [quarterback] coach. Brad Meandler does a real good job with him, and Sean Surdy does a job calling that offense.”
The Bulldogs (2-5, 0-2) got themselves in trouble from the opening series following three-and-out and a 20-yard punt that gave the Explorers the ball at the Stow 35.
It took just five plays for the Explorers to take the lead as Matt Rightnour bowled his way over the goal line on a 2-yard run. Pierce Royster’s extra point put Hudson ahead 7-0 with 9:26 left in the first quarter. The big play was a 24-yard pass from Guadagni to Zach Brandy.
Another poor punt gave the Explorers the ball on the Stow 48. Gedeon electrified the crowd with a 25-yard run to set up his own slick 4-yard run that he kicked outside to his left. Hudson led 14-0 less than three minutes later.
The Explorers’ special teams took center stage as Kennedy ran a Stow punt back 32 yards to the Bulldogs’ 12-yard line. Royster eventually kicked a 23-yard field with 3:14 to play in the first quarter.
Gedeon picked off a pass at the Hudson 30 and scored 15 plays later on a 1-yard run. The key play was a fake punt run for 8 yards by Ross McLelland to keep the drive alive.
The Explorers (6-1, 2-0) had nine first downs in the first half to two for the Bulldogs, who were held to 37 yards in the first half. Hudson racked up 322 yards to 166 for the Bulldogs.
The Explorers had four interceptions, including two by Alex Agra and one by McLelland.
Wright still likes the old Dante Lavelli Field.
“It is a big beautiful stadium and we love it, but Lavelli still had some good things to it, too,” Wright said.
And for the second year in a row, Wright has home bragging rights. Son Kyle Wright is the kicker for Stow.