Legendary coach Tom Saylor had a game to forget on Thursday at Hudson, as the host Tigers dominated Morenci to earn a 40-0 victory.
Saylor. who coached Hudson from 1966-1976, led the Tigers to a then-national record winning streak of 72 between 1969-1975. Saylor was honored before the game with a plaque, which was presented by former players.
“I hope he enjoyed it, but I know it must have been a little distracting,” Luma said. “I think he was trying to be the class act he always is and shake every persons hand, but it had to be distracting.”
Once the game started, it went downhill for the Bulldogs.
Hudson scored on each of its first four possessions, while Morenci went three-and-out on each of its first four.
“We talked about it all week and we talked it in the coach’s meeting,” Luma said of getting off to the good start. “We knew that was going to be key.”
The Tigers’ defense was dominating throughout the first half, as it held Morenci to zero yards on 12 offensive plays. The Bulldogs didn’t record a first down until late in the fourth quarter.
“They have an excellent line and an excellent backfield,” Saylor said. “It’s hard for us to put it together in three weeks. It was a team against individuals today and their team beat our individuals — that is what we need to correct.”
The Tigers jumped on Morenci early, as they took their opening drive 56 yards in eight plays. Hudson’s Chris Robbins capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run, which was the first of his three first-half touchdowns.
After forcing Morenci to a three-and-out, Hudson took its second drive 55 yards, again in eight plays, and scored on a four-yard run by Grant Benschoter.
The Tigers added two more first-half touchdowns, each on runs by Robbins.
The only possession the Tigers had in the first half that didn’t result in a touchdown was its final one, which ended after two plays when the half ended.
“We had four players sit out Monday’s practice with ankle injuries and two more on Tuesday,” Luma said. “We really looked sloppy in practice this week without those starters in there, but now they are healthy. Now we are playing well and on a little bit of a roll.”
The struggles continued in the second half for Morenci, as it turned the ball over twice in its first three offensive plays. Hudson scored as a result of each turnover (one touchdown and one field goal) to take a 37-0 lead.
The Bulldogs put together their first successful drive late in the fourth quarter, going 35 yards and recorded two first downs. The drive ended, however, when Hudson recovered its second fumble of the game.
“We’ll get over it,” Saylor said. “It will be tough tomorrow, but after that we will be fine. We have a chance to come back.”
Robbins finished with 120 yards on 17 carries for Hudson, while Drew Milligan added 52 yards and a touchdown run. Milligan also kicked two field goals and two extra points in the contest.
Morenci’s Chas Frey had 24 yards to lead the Bulldogs, which had 43 total yards in the game.