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Spartans come up short against Raiders (updated)

Superior High School lineman Gabe Sexton (59) pushes quarterback Jarrett Gronski (6) into the end zone for a first-quarter touchdown during the Spartans' 16-7 loss to Hudson Friday night at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)1 / 5
Superior High School quarterback Jarrett Gronski (6) gets knocked out of bounds in the third quarter of the Spartans loss to Hudson in Superior on Friday night. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)2 / 5
Superior’s Sam Gidley (66), Will Schorr (35) and Cody Kurki (2) sack Hudson quarterback Keyser Helterbrand (18) in the first half of the Spartans loss to Hudson in Superior on Friday night. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) 3 / 5
Superior’s Luke Soderstrom (42) tries to make a catch in the second half of the Spartans loss to Hudson in Superior on Friday night. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) 4 / 5
Superior’s Cody Kurki (2) takes down Hudson quarterback Keyser Helterbrand (18) in the first half of the Spartans loss to Hudson in Superior on Friday night. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) 5 / 5

The Superior High School football team suffered its second straight loss with a 16-7 defeat at the hands of the Hudson Raiders on Friday, Sept. 14, at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex.

Hudson dominated according to the final stats, running 83 plays to Superior’s 51, and piling up 442 yards to just 111 for the Spartans.

But thanks to Superior’s bend-but-don’t-break defense, the Spartans recovered two fumbles on their own 10-yard line and came up with four defensive stops on fourth down allowing the final score to stay in doubt until the very end.

“We bent a little bit here and there, but we fought hard and we didn’t break,” SHS coach Bob DeMeyer said. “The kids played their hearts out. We fought right to the last click on the clock. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Hudson missed a 30-yard field-goal attempt on its first drive and its second drive ended with Spartan defensive back Will Schorr sacking Hudson quarterback Kyser Helterbrand on fourth down.

Superior's second drive started with a holding penalty and an incomplete pass, but quarterback Jarrett Gronski called his own number and ran 58 yards to the Hudson 28. Six plays later, Gronski ran up the middle from 5 yards out. Nate Peterson kicked the extra point giving Superior a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.

“I saw a hole and was able to break one,” Gronski said. “It felt great and we eventually scored a touchdown."

Hudson took an 8-7 lead on Helterbrand's 11-yard TD pass to Cade McDonald and Helterbrand’s two-point run with 7:31 left in the first half.

Helterbrand's 21-yard TD run, along with his second two-point conversion, gave Hudson a 16-7 lead with 2:04 left in the third quarter.

“We knew exactly how good their quarterback is,” DeMeyer said. “He’s highly recruited and is going to be playing somewhere next year.”

Helterbrand finished with 183 yards rushing on 31 carries and was 9-of-17 passing for 180 yards.

“Keyer’s a big kid and there are times when you just have to get on his back and let him go,” Hudson coach Adam Kowles said. “It wasn’t a great game called by us on offense, but sometimes you have to grind it out and that’s just what we did.

“Give them a lot of credit. Rob Scott’s a great defensive coordinator and they had a good plan. After not scoring on our first couple of drives I think we lost a little poise on offense, but our defense helped us out.”

Hudson’s defense also played a great game, limiting Gronski to 0-for-7 passing and just 70 yard rushing.

“Their quarterback is outstanding,” Kowles said. “To keep him contained like that, I thought our defense played a great game. They rose to the occasion.

Hudson threatened to add to its lead two more times in the second quarter, but Brady Herbst recovered a fumble at the 10-yard line, and the Spartans stopped the Raiders on fourth down at the 26 with 59 seconds left in the half.

The defenses dominated again early in the third quarter with three striaght punts.

Drew DeBruyne recovered Superior’s second fumble on the 10-yard line on Hudson's second drive of the second half, but the Spartans lost yards on the ensuing drive and were forced to punt from its own end zone.

Hudson returned the punt to the 21, and, on the first play from scrimmage, Helterbrand broke several tackles before diving into the end zone on the left sideline. Helterbrand also ran in for two points giving the Raiders a 16-7 lead with 2:04 remaining in the third quarter.

“Hudson’s a very good program,” Gronski said. “We played a great game and forced turnovers, but we fell short on some of our drives. There were some mistakes, but we’ll focus on what we can change and get back into winning form.”

Hudson remains undefeated at 5-0 overall and 3-0 Big Rivers Conference. Superior falls to 3-2 and 1-2.

“We have never been, and I’m not making excuses, it’s a fact, we’ve never been as decimated as we were tonight with injuries and illness,” DeMeyer said. “But our kids fought right to the end against arguably the toughest team in the conference.

“I take nothing away from Hudson, they are a phenomenal football team and program. But we were toe-to-toe with them and if only we could have established something on offense in the second half.”

Superior plays at Chippewa Falls at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21. The Cardinals are coming off a 67-65 double-overtime win over Eau Claire Memorial.

SPARTAN SPIN: Schorr led the Spartans with 19 tackles, which included nine solo tackles and a tackle for loss. … Chase Summerfield and Trevor Dalbec were both in on 11 tackles and had a QB sack each. … DeBruyne and Nathan Anderson both had eight tackles.

Hudson 0 8 8 0 -- 16

Superior 0 7 0 0- -- 7

Second Quarter

SHS -- Jarrett Gronski 5-yard run (Nate Peterson kick), 10:44.

H -- Keyser Helterbrand 11-yard pass to Cade McDonald (Helterbrand run), 7:31.

Third Quarter

H -- Helterbrand 21-yard run (Helterbrand run), 2:04.

Team Stats

H SHS

Total Plays 83 51

Totals Yards 442 111

Passing Yards 180 0

Rushing Yards 262 111

First Downs 20 6

Turnovers 0 2

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2

Interceptions 0 1

Penalties 8-38 20-139

Individual Stats

PASSING -- H, Keyser Helterbrand, 9-17-0-19=80. SHS, Jarrett Gronski, 0-7-0-0.

RUSHING -- H, Helterbrand, 31-183; David Miller, 9-66; Cole Danielson, 6-14; Jacob Sigsworth, 2-(-1). SHS, Gronski, 14-70; Caden Stone, 17-45; Brady Herbst, 1-2; Cody Kurki, 2-(-3).

RECEIVING -- H, Cade McDonald, 1-89; Charlie Pierce, 3-42; Ben Karls, 3-421; Danielson, `1-15; Miller, 1-10.

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