By Sean Duffy
Maple Heights, OH- The Division II Region 5 Semi-Final matchup featured the #3 seeded Hudson Explorers and t#2 seeded Riverside Beavers. Each team is looking to move on to the Division II Region 5 Final, but would first have to overcome a cold and rainy night at Maple Heights Stadium .
The rainy weather accounted for the first points of the game as a botched long snap by Riverside rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety. Hudson would take possession and score on a 29 yd TD pass from QB Jaggar Pallay to WR Jack Jenkins. Hudson would take a 9-0 Lead at the end of the first quarter.
Hudson’s Ian Ludewig would add to the Hudson lead thanks to a 3 yd TD Run. Hudson now led 16-0 Early in the second quarter.
Hudson’s Defense was dominant in the first half not allowing Riverside any opportunity to score. The Explorers defensive line created havoc in the backfield, and stifled the Beavers Run game. Hudson took a 16-0 Lead into halftime.
Along with the rain, the Hudson Defense continued to make things very difficult for the Beavers offense as they handled Riverside for the majority of the third quarter. Riverside would finally find some rhythm offensively, helped out in large part by costly Hudson penalties, and get on the scoreboard with a 6 yd TD run by QB Mikey Maloney. Maloney would also successfully convert the 2 pt attempt to make the score 16-8 in favor of Hudson as the third quarter came to an end.
Hudson was moving the ball well to open the quarter and drove the ball all the way down to the Beavers 2 yd line and looked poised to punch it in for game icing score. However, the Beavers defense would turn back a 4th and goal attempt to take over on their own 1 yd line and keep it to a one score game.
Riverside would then march the length of the field to score on 29 yd TD pass from Mikey Maloney to WR Jake Elly to bring the Beavers within a 2 pt conversion of tying the game. As it had for most of the night the Explorers defense was up to the task and prevented Riverside from converting the 2 pt attempt. Hudson Led 16-14 with 3:52 Remaining in the game.
Riverside elected to not to attempt the onside kick, opting to kick the ball deep. The Beaver’s defense played very well on first and second down, setting up a 3rd and 13 for Hudson on their own 22 yd line. Hudson would connect on a 33 yd pass play from Pallay to Jack Jenkins to move the sticks, and salt away the game. Hudson weathered the Riverside second half surge to get the 16-14 Victory.
Riverside ends the season 11-2 overall and were led offensively by QB Mikey Maloney who had a rushing TD on the night and also connected with Jake Elly for another score.
Hudson’s season continues as they improve to 13-0 overall. The Explorers ware led offensively by QB Jaggar Pallay who had had A TD pass to WR Jack Jenkins, RB Ian Ludewig also had a rush TD on the night. Hudson moves on to the Division II Region 5 Final and will face #1 seed Akron Archbishop Hoban (12-1).
So long from Maple Heights!!