By Josh Evans / Adrian Daily Telegram
The Hudson High School football team is confident heading into today’s semifinal tilt against Ubly as it tries to earn a spot in the Division 7 state championship game.
The Tigers are coming off an emotional 42-41 double-overtime win over fellow unbeaten and perennial powerhouse Mendon, while the Bearcats are coming off a 48-20 victory over Summerfield in last week’s regional final.
“We have played and beat a lot tougher teams then they have,” Hudson coach Chris Luma said. “Ubly is a good fast team but we have seen faster. Nothing against Summerfield, but last week we played a much better team than Ubly.”
Ball control and defense are going to be huge keys for the Tigers in today’s game. Hudson has had just a pair of turnovers in the playoffs and have controlled the clock with its running backs in every game this season. If the Tigers are going to advance to Ford Field, sticking to its game plan will be a big reason why.
“We have to do what we have been doing all season,” Luma said. “We have to continue to impose our will and control the tempo of the game. Our defense is going to have to force Ubly to sustain drives because most of the film that I have seen they bust the big plays. If we can keep the ball out of their offense’s hands by limiting their possessions than we have a good chance.”
Matt Smith and Chris Aguirre will look to continue their dominant seasons by helping the Hudson defense shut down another prolific offense. The Bearcats have a lot of team speed and controlling the edge could become vital for Hudson.
Nathan Smith is another standout Hudson player who will need to contribute in a majority of ways.
Smith is a senior quarterback and has underrated running abilities. Smith also proved he can pass the ball effectively last week as he hit Kyle Benschoter with a 26-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime.
Smith is also a crucial part of the Tiger defense and leads the team in interceptions. Smith plays safety and Luma looks to him to keep everyone focused.
“Smith is a playmaker,” Luma said. “He has to control our defense and get guys in the right positions. On offense he has got to carry out his fakes and keep Ubly’s defense off balance.”
With a victory today Hudson would advance to its third state title game in school history.