‘It’s an unbelievable feeling’: Hudson football advances to semifinals

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‘It’s an unbelievable feeling’: Hudson football advances to semifinals
Hudson celebrates with the semifinal-qualifier trophy. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

HUDSON – The quarterfinals hadn’t been friendly to the Hudson Hawks.

In 2021, the Hawks lost in the quarterfinals to Bishop Fenwick. In 2022, the Hawks – who entered the playoffs as the top-seeded team in the division – fell to underdog Dover-Sherborn in the quarterfinals. The Hawks had found success in the regular season, but two-straight playoff wins somehow escaped them.

After being bounced in two-straight quarterfinals, some may have questioned Hudson’s ability to get “over the hump.”

However, the fourth-seeded Hawks silenced any skeptics under the lights of Morgan Bowl on Friday night, defeating the No.5 Lynnfield Pioneers, 28-13, in the quarterfinals and officially advancing to the MIAA Division 6 semifinals.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling right now,” first-year Hudson Head Coach Zac Attaway said immediately following the victory. “We haven’t been able to get over that hump, [but] these boys put the work in… It’s a great result, these kids earned it and deserve it, and I’m really happy for them.”

‘It’s an unbelievable feeling’: Hudson football advances to semifinals
Jake Attaway looks to pass as he rolls to his left. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

Jake Attaway, Zac Attaway’s son and Hudson’s quarterback, connected with Nolan Yates for a 39-yard touchdown that put Hudson ahead 6-0. With roughly 10 minutes left in the second quarter, Attaway – who would finish with one passing and two rushing touchdowns – scored to put the Hawks ahead 13-0.

The Hawks outmuscled Lynnfield all night. Zac Attaway told the Community Advocate that his team, which had championship hopes from the beginning, has been focused on the fundamentals since day one.

“At the beginning of the season we talked about the weight room – buying in,” he said. “I told the guys, ‘you start showing up at the weight room in the summer, then Gillette Stadium is a reality.’ This [success] was something that we expected because of the players we have on this team and the coaches and the hard work they put in as well.”

Though the game was never out of Hudson’s reach, Lynnfield was able to produce explosive plays. In the final minutes of the first half, Lynnfield quarterback Tyler Adamo found Madux Iovinelli for what appeared to be a momentum-shifting, 73-yard touchdown to put the Pioneers within one score. However, just before Iovinelli scored, Hudson’s Garrett Giorgio poked the ball away. Hudson recovered the fumble, and went into halftime up 13-0.

‘It’s an unbelievable feeling’: Hudson football advances to semifinals
Nolan Yates (left) and Savion Newton-Clark (right) celebrate after Hudson’s first touchdown of the game. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

The first half featured 13 points; the first 90 seconds of the second half featured 14 points. Lynnfield’s 51-yard touchdown, scored on the first second-half play from scrimmage, narrowed Hudson’s lead to 6 points. The Pioneers’ momentum was short-lived; Attaway immediately took the ball and ran untouched down the sideline for a 76-yard score that made the lead 13 again.

But that wasn’t the longest play of the quarter. Lynnfield responded with a 95-yard touchdown pass. Although the Hawks’ defense gave up some yardage, Zac Attaway nonetheless praised the defense’s performance.

“There were lots of emotions going into the preparation for this game all week – our scout team was unbelievable… The defense did a really good job – a couple mishaps, a couple miscommunications – but we bounced back offensively and answered,” he said after the game.

Hudson would eventually win 27-13. The boisterous Hudson fan section cheered as the Hawks lifted the semifinal-qualifier trophy and officially broke the team’s quarterfinal unlucky streak.

‘It’s an unbelievable feeling’: Hudson football advances to semifinals
Hudson’s David Rambler (center) sacks Lynnfield’s Tyler Adamo. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

“Having the home-field advantage was really big for us. The community that came out and showed their support is unbelievable,” Zac Attaway said while being congratulated by swarms of students, coaches, and former players.

Hudson will play No.8 Fairhaven in the semifinals; Fairhaven eliminated No.1 Norwell in the quarterfinals to advance. The date and location for the semifinal matchup has yet to be determined.

The winner of the semifinal will play in the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.

“You can celebrate for 24 hours. We’ll be in the weight room tomorrow – we do that every Saturday – and then it’s back to the grind and preparing for the next week. These boys – they’re ready to go, and we’re excited,” said Attaway.

‘It’s an unbelievable feeling’: Hudson football advances to semifinals
Garrett Giorgio braces for impact as he rushes the ball upfield. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

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