HUDSON — Hudson got better as the game went on.
Morgan Bowl was packed on Friday night as the Hudson Hawks competed against the North Middlesex Patriots. Both teams came into the game with winning records, but the Hawks eventually came out on top on Senior Night, winning 40-21 over the Patriots.
“I’ve known a lot of these guys since youth football – second or third grade – so I’ve seen them grow up,” said first-year Hudson Head Coach Zac Attaway. “It’s an emotional night, and I wanted to make sure it was special for them. A win like this is very special for these guys.”
The Hawks opened up the scoring after neither squad had much success on their opening drive. Logan Luz scampered into the end zone with 3:03 remaining in the first quarter to help Hudson jump out to an early 7-0 lead.
The Patriots threatened to match that score, driving down the field with authority. North Middlesex came close, but as quarterback Michael Reardon rolled to his left, his third-down pass sailed high, eventually being intercepted by Hudson’s Evan Bushey. Jake Attaway — Zac Attaway’s son and Hudson’s quarterback — capitalized on the turnover just minutes later, running into the end zone for a seven-yard score that put Hudson ahead by 14.
“I’d definitely say the defense [impressed me the most] and how resilient they were… The defense really locked down when it was crunch time,” Zac Attaway said.
With 1:40 left in the half, North Middlesex tried to narrow the gap. Led by Reardon and Cade Callahan, the Patriots drove down the field. On fourth-and-goal with 14 seconds left, North Middlesex scored to go into halftime trailing 14-6.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, the Hawks were just warming up. Hudson was firing on all cylinders on the other side of the break, immediately forcing a Patriot three-and-out.
From there, the Hudson offense dominated. Attaway found Garrett Giorgio down the sideline to start the drive before hitting Owen Nanartowich for a five-yard touchdown pass. After stalling yet another North Middlesex drive, the Hawks needed just one play from scrimmage to score again; Luz’s 26-yard touchdown — his second of the game — put the Hawks ahead 27-6.
“We talked about being a better team in the second half,” said Attaway, explaining how the team came into form after halftime. “We made some adjustments on offense and defense – and it worked. Hats off to the assistant coaches who were seeing things from up in the booth, on the sideline… We did a good job making adjustments, and that was the difference.”
Both sides scored later in the game, but the damage had been done. Hudson won 40-21; Jake Attaway finished with four touchdowns (two rushing, two passing). When Zac Attaway was asked about his son’s performance, he praised the rest of the offense.
“Those plays don’t happen without the offensive line; those plays don’t happen without his receivers catching the football. Those guys executed and he reaps the rewards in the end. The guys up front and his receivers are the reason for that,” he said.