Hudson Football wins shutout win over Brecksville
Pick you gift: stop the run or stop the pass?
The Brecksville-Broadview Heights coaching staff faced that decision when they ventured into Murdough Field at Hudson Memorial Stadium on Sept. 24 to face the undefeated Hudson in a Suburban League National Conference competition.
For the first half of the regular season, the Explorers’ senior running back Aiden Lal put up gaudy numbers, including a 301-yard game, five touchdown games at the season opener in Solon, and a 259-yard four-score night on the fifth week over Wadsworth.
On the other side of the choice; Hudson averaged 182 yards through the air Friday night to keep up with the 258 yards per game on the ground.
That night, the bees’ main focus seemed to be stopping the run. Lal had 82 yards with 18 carries but still scored two goals as the Explorers beat Brecksville 42-0 in front of a packed homecoming crowd. The win lifted the hosts’ record to 6-0 in the overall standings and 3-0 in the league.
“It’s nice to have a balance. Our receivers have perfected their routes, ”said coach Jeff Gough. “When they (the opponent) charge the box, we take it (the pass) and on the other hand, when they give us the box, we want to let the ball go; we have to do our job and block as recipients. I love what I’ve seen from our boys. “
Brecksville (1-5, 1-2) took the passing poison as junior quarterback Jagger Pallay made 16-18 tries for 228 yards and three points. On the defensive, Junior Gio DePompei picked up two passes and added a quick touchdown to his evening work as the team recorded their first shutout of the year.
Despite the big nights of Pallay and DePompei, the star of the show was the king; Colin Pierce.
The senior was named homecoming king with classmate Lal in the courtyard for the halftime celebrations. During the game, Pierce caught six passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
When asked if “anything interesting” had happened to him today, Pierce jokingly replied: “The King of Coming was quite interesting, but otherwise it was a normal Friday.”
As for a “normal Friday,” Pierce wasn’t that far from the truth. In six games that year, the third year starter had four 100-yard reception games, 623 yards, and seven touchdowns. For his career the numbers are 1,558 yards and 20 scores.
His first catch of the game was a 53-yard six-point bomb from Pallay on Scrimmage’s third play, and the last was a 35-yard blow to the center of the end zone where Pierce laid out horizontally for his second touchdown.
“Jagger has just been mad lately,” Pierce said. “He threw amazing balls. We worked to have him put it in front of me and let me run to the ball.”
Pallay agreed and said, “Pierce is a fantastic recipient. You just have to trust him and let him go and that’s what I did. Pierce made a piece, like all great playmakers make pieces. “
This touchdown with 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter led to the 35-0, initiated the running clock and signaled the end of the night for the Hudson starters.
Pierce’s first hit, just 62 seconds in play, was a deep ball from Pallay for cover. Pierce outmaneuvered and overtook the defense the rest of the way and with DJ Ashe’s conversion kick, the Explorers quickly took a 7-0 lead.
Brecksville seemed up to the challenge on first touch and collected three first downs, but a hold penalty helped the drive to a standstill. The Bees were marked 10 times for 88 yards during the night and Hudson received a whopping 13 penalties for 112 yards.
The second quarter was all of Hudson.
A third down pass from Pallay to wide-out Jake Varga brought the first down and then Varga turned the short reception into a touchdown. The senior took the pass on the right sideline in front of Brecksville Bank, 35 yards to his second touchdown in as many weeks. Ashes Kick made the score 14-0 with 6:51 in the first quarter.
The defense, which limited Brecksville to 173 yards total attack, got the ball back on the next snap from Scrimmage. Defensive defender Ryan Suydam played a back pass to the right. He released the catch, then struggled vigilantly to regain the sideline at the ten-yard line of the guests.
Three games later, Lal walked over the right tackle from a yard for a 21-0 lead.
Brecksville had its biggest game of the night when Luke Buckley gave the ensuing kick back 53 yards to the Hudson’s 37-yard line. DePompei ended that threat three games later. The defensive back picked up quarterback Colin Seibert (10-for-23.56 yards) at the 25-yard line.
The Explorers marched from there with Pallay 5 for 5 through the air for 44 yards. Lal ran for 5 on a huge fourth and three plays, and then four plays later he raised the middle for a 7 yard score and a 28-0 lead at 1:58 by halftime
There was a lot of tension in the final minutes of half-time, but no goal.
DePompei was in the right place when Seibert tried to go deep late. The passport was forged in the field and DePompei was there for the caramel. The runabout raced down the Hudson sideline and was eventually thrown out of bounds within the five. As in the previous week against Wadsworth, however, the junior was undermined by a penalty for most of his long return. His 84 yard fumble recovery return against the Grizzlies was also taken away by a flag.
DePompei would finally get into the end zone later that night. Continue reading.
Ashe (5-for-5 on extra point attempts) the second half kickoff was a line drive that hit a Brecksville Up-man. Henry Casper bounced back for the Explorers for the game’s fourth Bee sales.
The two teams exchanged long marches afterward, but both ended in lows. Hudson’s threat ended after 12 games at the visitor’s 22-yard line. Brecksville countered with an 11-play trek, stopped on the fourth and one by the Explorers 15. It was there that Ryan Evans stopped running back to Matt Rose with no profit. Rose finished 66 yards for 16 carries and added two catches for another 15 yards.
After Pierce’s incredible jump to 35-0 lead, the Explorers defense was left with the task of maintaining the shutout.
Although Gough emptied his bank against the Bees launch offensive, Hudson stopped their league rivals twice with Downs in the fourth quarter.
Between these two stops, the Explorers reserves added up the final score of the game. Fittingly, this touchdown went to DePompei. After a sophomore college carry, the junior got his first carry from 2021 and raced 43 yards around the right end, but was denied the end zone at the six was out of bounds.
Two games later, DePompei cashed in by circling the right side for a six-yard score. Newcomer Brad Masiella got the extra point for the 42-0 final.
“I’m so looking forward to seeing him (DePompei),” said Gough. “The boys are getting more and more comfortable in defense, he was seen as a runner at the end of the game ... his ability in the backcourt.”
“That was a great game, a great win. The defense played really well and the offense followed with every possession. Our D-lineman really put the quarterback under pressure so I could get both of my interceptions, ”DePompei said afterwards. “I really don’t run the ball that often so it was kind of cool to get in there and play a few games and luckily I scored in the end. It was great. The last week was really exciting, but then I saw the penalty being recalled. Sooner or later I really wanted to go to the end zone and found it this week. “