Hudson’s running game was too much for Hillsdale as the Tigers romped 40-26 over the Hornets in the season opener for both teams.
The Tigers (1-0) rolled up 403 yards in total offense — all on the ground. They set the tone in their first play from scrimmage when Nathan Smith ran 77 yards for a score. From there it was only a matter of whether Hillsdale could keep pace.
The Hornets (0-1) used two untested quarterbacks, Dan Vear and Travis Hodos, who tried to fill the shoes of senior starter Mike Curby who has a broken arm. Neither were effective in their trial by fire, but Vear showed improvement in the second half, leading the Hornets to three scores.
Hillsdale coach Marc Lemerand said his team has to play sound football.
“We made too many mistakes,” he said. “Fundamentally we have to get better, we have to be able to secure the football and avoid turnovers.”
Hillsdale did not lose any fumbles, but had several dropped passes and committed five penalties.
Vear finished 11-of-22 for 135 yards, two touchdowns and two costly interceptions. Hodos, a sophomore, was 0-for-5.
“Our quarterbacks made mistakes, but they played hard,” Lemerand said. “We’ll fix things.”
Nick Reiniche led the Hornets with 81 yards in 13 carries and a touchdown. Vear also ran for a score.
Hudson had two backs with more than 100 yards as Chris Robbins led the way with 120 yards and Smith finished with 111.
John Nealy ran for two touchdowns, while Robbins, Smith, Drew Milligan and Grant Benschoter each had one.
The Tigers ran at will, something that coach Chris Luma thought he could do against Hillsdale.
“I felt watching the film there seemed to be holes in their defense that we could exploit,” he said. “Our defense bent but didn’t break.
Luma said it is no secret his team likes to run, the challenge for him is for his team to stay winded.
“We have quite a few backs, we need to get better or more kids the ball,” he said.
Dustin Moyer caught four passes for 61 yards and touchdown, 47 of which came with 31 seconds left in the game on scoring pass. Renieche grabbed 3 passes for 46 yards and a TD.
Justin Reed was the leading tackler for Hillsdale with 16 solo and 12 assists. Benschoter had eight tackles for Hudson.
Hillsdale hosts Hastings next week. Game time is 7 p.m.