HUDSON — Hudson High School is about eight miles from the UNI-Dome.
It’s a trip the Pirates’ football team hadn’t made in 23 years.
That all changed Friday night when Hudson shut out Lynnville-Sully, 30-0, in the Class A state playoff quarterfinals and earned a short trip north to the Dome where the Pirates will meet undefeated St. Ansgar at 10:06 a.m. next Friday.
“It’s been a long time, but they’ve earned it,” said Hudson coach Justin Brekke. “They’ve worked hard for this, and they’ve all but reached it.”
The Pirates established an effective passing game in the first half Friday with Jacob Murray hitting Alec Staebell and Al Hageman with touchdown passes.
“He (Murray) was throwing the ball great tonight,” said Brekke of his junior signal-caller. “They (Lynnville-Sully) came out in cover zero and that left us some mismatches that we took advantage of.”
Hudson turned to its wildcat offense to keep the chains moving and the lead growing in the second quarter. Staebell scored from the 1 after a 52-yard gain, and Christian Seres ripped off a 64-yard TD run. The half ended with Wes Geisler showing another Pirates weapon as he nailed a 37-yard field-goal.
Hudson didn’t score in the second half, but its defense made sure the Hawks didn’t either.
Led by defensive tackles Dawson Ellingson and Matt Seres, the Pirates forced nine three-and-outs, had five quarterback sacks, gave up just 71 total yards and recorded their sixth shutout of the season.
“It was important to us to make a statement and show that we’re competitive and we mean business,” said Ellingson.
“Give credit to Keith Harms, our defensive coordinator,” praised Brekke. “There’s nobody who spends more time on things than him.”
Now, St. Ansgar stands between Hudson and a shot at its first state championship since 1994.
“We’re a smash-mouth team. They’re a smash-mouth team. We’re big. They’re big. It’s going to come down to seeing who can play,” said Ellingson.
Matt Seres said Hudson will keep the chip on its shoulder that has been there all season.
“We prepared for the Hawks as if we were the underdogs, like we always do,” he said. “We’ve got to keep that mentality up and keep playing hard and we’ll be alright.”
Hudson 30, Lynnville-Sully 0
Lynnville-Sully 0 0 0 0 — 0
Hudson 13 17 0 0 — 30
Hud—Alec Staebell 42 pass from Jacob Murray (Wes Geisler kick)
Hud—Al Hageman 32 pass from Murray (kick failed)
Hud—Staebell 1 run (Geisler kick)
Hud—Christian Seres 64 run (Geisler kick)
Hud—FG Geisler 37
First downs 4 12
Rushes-yards 20-11 49-290
Comp-att-int 8-22-0 9-15-1
Passing yards 60 188
Punts-avg 7-42.5 6-28.1
Fumbles-lost 3-1 4-0
Penalties-yards 6-43 10-110
LYNNVILLE-SULLY — Sage Zylstra 4-0, Evan Squires 9-13, Brevin Hansen 1-2, Elijah Collins 5- minus 8, Nate Stock 1-4.
HUDSON — Christian Seres 26-165, Alec Staebell 16-120, Ethan Fulcher 2-0, Cameron Fulcher 4-12, Zach Buzynski 1- minus 7.
LYNNVILLE-SULLY — Collins 7-21-0, 60 yards.
HUDSON — Murray 10-15-1, 188 yards.
LYNNVILLE-SULLY — Gage Vander Leest 3-25, Hansen 2-17, Tyson Vander Linden 1-6, Drake Ehresman 1-12.
HUDSON — Staebell 4-70, Izik Rodriguez 1-8, Al Hageman 3-73, Zach Buzynski 1-10, E. Fulcher 1-19, C. Fulcher 1-8.