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UPDATED: Raiders knock off the Spartans

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The Hudson Raiders won a battle of undefeated teams with a 35-14 win over the Superior High School Spartans Friday night in a mistake-filled game at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex.

In a game featuring teams with records of 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big Rivers Conference, both teams turned the ball over five times and both teams were whistled for 10 penalties.

“It was an ugly game — way too many penalties and turnovers, just things you can’t do when you’re trying to beat a very good team,” SHS coach Bob DeMeyer said. “There were a lot of things we did that gave them momentum, but again, they created a lot of our mistakes.

“It’s early in the season, we still have all of our goals still ahead of us. We have a team that’s going to fight and we’ll regroup and get back after it.”

The Spartans threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles, while the Raiders lost three fumbles and were intercepted twice.

“It wasn’t a pretty game overall,” Hudson coach Adam Kowles said. “The penalties, the turnovers, just a sloppy game. I think both teams had trouble getting into any rhythm offensively, at least early on. But I’m proud of the way we finished, that’s the name of the game.”

Both coaches shouldered most of the blame for their team’s performance.

“This loss is just as much my fault,” DeMeyer said. “We have to be better disciplined, more fundamentally sound, and that’s a coaching thing.”

Kowles echoed DeMeyer.

“I’ll put it on me,” Kowles said. “In the first half we were all over the place. I have to call the game better than that. But I’m proud of those guys, though.”

Junior Aaron Squires led Hudson (4-0 overall, 2-0 BRC) with four touchdowns runs that totaled just 9 yards. Hudson’s first touchdown was a 98-yard kick-off return by Jagger Marvin.

Superior (3-1, 1-1) got two touchdown passes from quarterback Gunner Johnson — 30 yards to Corey Sanders and 10 yards to Sam Kline.

Chase Elder had a big game defensively for Superior with a team-high 10 tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Corey Sanders added nine tackles and an interception and Gunnar Gronski intercepted a pass.

A scoreless first quarter saw Hudson lose two fumbles and have two false starts on offense, and Superior throw an interception and jump off sides twice on defense.

While the first quarter was full of miscues, the second quarter started off with plenty of excitement.

When faced with a third-and-18 situation deep in its own territory, Superior’s Max Plunkett hauled in a 42-yard pass from Johnson. One play later Johnson threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Sanders, who got behind the defense on the left sidelines.

Kline’s kick gave the Spartans a 7-0 lead with 9:00 remaining in the half.

Superior’s lead lasted 15 seconds as Marvin returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and Keyser Helterbrand kicked the extra point.

The game quickly returned to the way it was in the first quarter as four straight possessions ended with turnovers — the Spartans lost a fumble; Elder intercepted a pass; Superior lost another fumble; and Sanders returned an interception to midfield with 2 seconds left in the first half.

“(Kowles) was not happy with us, with the mistakes, at halftime,” said Squires, who finished with 92 yards on 19 carries. “Just a lot of simple mistakes, but we figured it out and got the schemes right.”

A 15-yard penalty on the second-half kick gave Hudson excellent starting position at Superior’s 43-yard line. Five plays later the Raiders took a 14-7 lead on Squires’ 5-yard run up the middle. Helterbrand’s extra-point kick came just 1:10 into the third quarter.

“We still had our chances and there were some opportunities in the first half we didn’t take advantage of,” DeMeyer said. “In the second half, we gave them juice with that penalty.”

Four minutes later it went to 21-7 when Brandon McClure’s interception set up Squire’s 1-yard touchdown.

Superior followed with its best drive of the game — moving the ball 67 yards in 12 plays and getting within 21-14 when Johnson threw a 10-yard slant pass to Kline with 1:41 left in the third quarter.

Hudson answered with two more Squire TDs — the first from 3 yards out on the fourth play of the fourth quarter and second from 2 yards out with 7:13 remaining.

“I challenged our offensive line at halftime, and they really rose to the challenge,” Kowles said. “They (the Spartans) really got after us in the first half. Their D-line did such a nice job, got into the backfield and caused problems.

“But in the second half the backs made blocks, the quarterbacks distributed the ball, and the receivers made some blocks down field. I’m really proud of the way the guys played in the second half.”

Johnson completed 17-of-25 passes for 249 yards. He also rushed for 38 yards, along with Gronski. Tre Knight added 23 yards on three carries.

Plunkett had five catches for 82 yards and Sanders and Kline both caught four passes for 77 and 53 yards, respectively.

Kowles also noted Friday’s game is what high school athletics is all about.

“What a great atmosphere and what a great crowd; this is a tough place to play,” Kowles said. “When they scored in the second half the place was shaking. This is a great facility, and Bob does such a nice job and had a great coaching staff. We’re pleased to get out of here with the win.”

Superior plays at Chippewa Falls at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Cardinals (3-1, 2-0) are coming off a 42-14 win over Eau Claire Memorial.

“They’re all tough from here on out,” DeMeyer said. “Chippewa’s on par with Hudson, and then we have Menomonie and Rice Lake. We knew going into the season that every Friday night was going to be a battle.”

SPARTAN SPIN: Johnson was sacked four times, losing 18 yards. Three of the sacks were by Cole Godbout, who led the Raiders with 11 tackles. … Devon Dalton had two of the Raiders’ three interceptions. … Hudson hosts Menomonie (3-1, 2-0).

Hudson.............. 0       7       14    14    —      35

Superior.............. 0       7       7      0     —      14

Second Quarter

SHS – Corey Sanders 30-yard pass from Gunner Johnson (Sam Kline kick), 9:00.

H – Jagger Marvin 98-yard kick return (Keyser Helterbrand kick), 8:45.

Third Quarter

H – Aaron Squires 3-yard run (Helterbrand kick), 10:50.

H – Squires 1-yard run (Helterbrand kick), 6:56.

SHS – Kline 10-yard pass from Johnson (Kline kick), 1:41.

Fourth Quarter

H – Squires 3-yard run (Helterbrand kick), 11:05.

H – Squires 2-yard run (Helterbrand kick), 7:13.

TEAM STATISTICS

                                      H                SHS

Plays............................. 60                 58

Total Yards..................... 363               365

Passing Yards................. 82                249

Rushing........................ 50-281           33-116

First Downs..................... 20                 16

Third Down.................... 7-13              7-13

Fourth-Down................... 1-2                1-1

Penalties....................... 10-54             10-78

Fum./Lost....................... 3-3                2-2

Time........................... 19:12:0           28:48

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — SHS, Gunner Johnson, 14-38; Gunnar Gronski, 10-38; Tre Knight, 3-23; Zach Tharge, 3-14; Corey Sanders, 1-4; CJ Fortune, 1-(-1). Hudson, Aaron Squires, 18-91; Andre Burgess, 9-63; Max Stubbendick, 9-40; Marvin Jagger, 4-31; Keyser Helterbrand, 3-16; Jayden Carranza, 3-8; Parker Poling, 1-7; Cole Danielson, 1-5.

PASSING — SHS, Johnson, 17-25-3-249. Hudson, Stubbendick, 2-2-0-48. Helterbrand, 3-8-2-34.

RECEIVING — SHS, Max Plunkett, 5-82; Sanders, 4-77; Sam Kline, 4-53; Tharge, 2-20; Knight, 1-4; Gronski, 1-3. Hudson, Burgess, 3-40; Thomas Berg, 2-42.

 DEFENSE

Superior

                                        Total      Solo       Ast    

Chase Elder........................ 10          8          2

Corey Sanders...................... 9          7          2

Joe Carter............................ 9          4          5

Chase Summerfield................ 8          7          1

Max Plunkett........................ 7          4          3

Blake Grasky........................ 7          5          2

Zach Tharge......................... 5          4          1

Dylan Lowney....................... 4          3          1

Gunner Gronski..................... 3          1          2

Pettit Christian...................... 2          2          x

Luke Drougas........................ 2          2          x

Flaherty Oscar...................... 1          1          x

Tradel Nickelson.................... 1          1          x

Total.................................. 69         50         19

Hudson — Cole Godbout, 11; Parker Poling, 5; Spence Schmidt, 4; Alex Kolander, 4.

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