HUDSON — Waterloo Columbus was far from perfect.
The Sailors committed 10 penalties for 100 yards, and had two of those penalties erase touchdowns.
But by the end of the evening Friday, Columbus was a perfect 2-0.
Ben Sinnott caught a pair of touchdown passes, and Ray Seidel rushed for another as Columbus blanked a short-handed Hudson squad that won the Class A state title a year ago, 19-0, in a non-district football game.
“We came into practice last Saturday and said we have to go hard this whole week,” said Seidel, who rushed for 80 yards and caught four passes for 49 yards. “We’ve got to go hard ... hit hard, run hard, block hard. We executed that throughout the week and it showed tonight.”
Columbus had to get out of its own way to pull out the win as a punt return for touchdown and a long pass play were called back by penalties, both in the first half.
Head coach Brad Schmit challenged his team to overcome those mistakes, both mental and physical, at halftime.
“Regardless of what we think is right or wrong in terms of the penalties that were thrown, you’ve got to play through that,” Schmit said. “I think some of our guys let it affect their play in the first half. We had to control the control-ables. So, at halftime, I told them we are up 13-0 and if you shut them out we win.”
Behind some tough running by Seidel, who had 54 of his 80 rushing yards in the second half, the Sailors did enough to keep a short-handed Pirate squad at bay.
Hudson was without six starters, including all-state linebacker Ethan Fulcher, but fought Columbus from one end of the field to the other.
“Them not having Fulcher makes a big difference because he is one of the top guys in their classification, but also in the state,” Schmit said. “Give all the credit to Hudson, that was not an easy win. It was 19-0, and it seemed a lot closer than the scoreboard indicated. They will get it right. They are tough.”
Columbus scored on its opening possession as quarterback Carter Gallagher hit Sinnott with a quick out, and Sinnott broke a tackle five yards downfield and took it the rest of the way.
Sinnott’s second touchdown catch and fifth of the season came on an 11-yard fade into the left corner of the end zone just 1 minute, 43 seconds into the second quarter. He finished with seven catches for 90 yards.
The Sailors’ final touchdown came on a Seidel six-yard run with 9:40 left in the fourth.
Columbus outgained Hudson, 252-159.
Hudson coach Justin Brekke didn’t use his shorthanded roster as an excuse. While disappointed in the loss, he saw gain and improvement.
“We were looking for fight tonight and we definitely saw it,” Brekke said. “We told our guys to never quit and it is hard to beat a guy who never quits. We did that.
“Obviously, we have to get our offense going, but we can’t commit penalties. We had a ton of penalties, many at the wrong times, and there is never a good time to commit a penalty.
“We got better tonight. That is a great team, very well-coached and we played four quarters,” finished Brekke.
Columbus 19, Hudson 0
Columbus 6 7 0 6 — 19
Hudson 0 0 0 0 — 0
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Col — Ben Sinnott 25 pass from Carter Gallagher (kick failed)
Col — Sinnott 11 pass from Gallagher (Ben Trost kick)
Col — Ray Seidel 6 run (kick failed)
First downs 11 8
Rushes-yards 35-98 31-108
Passing yards 154 51
Comp-att-int 14-22-0 6-11-0
Return yards 13 1
Punts-avg. 5-36.4 6-32.8
Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-2
Penalties-yards 10-100 8-80
COLUMBUS — Gallagher 6-3, Seidel 21-80, Joe Dunlay 7-14, Sinnott 1-1.
HUDSON — Joe Culham 13-64, Jackson Lehr 2-minus 14, Payton Stuart 7-58, Aiden Zook 8-12, Team 1-minus 12.
COLUMBUS — Gallagher 14-22-0, 154 yards.
HUDSON — Lehr 1-2-0, minus-3 yards, Stuart 1-2-0, 16 yards, Zook 4-7-0, 38 yards.
COLUMBUS — Sinnott 7-90, Seidel 4-49, Cannon Butler 2-12, Dunlay 1-3.
HUDSON — Stuart 4-22, Ethan Vogt 1-13, Bryce Griffin 1-13.