Macedonia,OH- Boliantz Stadium was the site between the Hudson Explorers and Nordonia Knights. The Explorers came into the Week 7 matchup at 6-0 while the Knights were 5-1.
Hudson received the kickoff and was able to get going on offense. But the Explorers eventually turned it over on downs when quarterback Jagger Pallay was unable to pick up the first down.
After receiving the punt and starting on their own 38, Nordonia would also turn it over on downs themselves after quarterback Joey Palinkas was sacked by Blake Toth. Hudson would then have a very quick three and out and punt it away right back to the Knights.
Nordonia would start the drive at their own 34 with an 18-yard pass from Palinkas to Devin Tufts who were connecting with each other all night long. Palinkas would then get two big runs himself later on in the drive of 11 and 27 yards before taking it in for the touchdown from the one yard line. Nordonia would take a 7-0 lead with 32 seconds left in the first quarter.
After receiving the kickoff, Hudson would run two short plays before time ran out in the first quarter. Facing a 3rd and 9, it was the worst case imaginable for the Explorers as Pallay was sacked for a loss of 7 and they would have to punt once again.
The next Nordonia drive could also be called the Zach Zender drive. The Knights fed their running back on this drive and Zender totaled 32 yards on just 6 carries and was able to get into the end zone to cap off the drive. Nordonia took a 14-0 lead with 8:34 left in the half and everything was working for them.
They would even recover an onside kick after trying one with a 15-yard penalty being enforced on the kickoff. After a big 17 yard run by Palinkas earlier in the drive, he would eventually be the one that ends the drive when he is running and would fumble the ball and Nordonia recovers it.
Starting at their own 31, Hudson would look to get a drive going but weren't able to do much. They would try a fake punt but would turn it over on downs after no gain on the play.
Nordonia would have good field position to start but that would not matter as Palinkas would throw an interception to Jack Jenkins on the second play of the drive.
The interception by Jenkins would give the Explorers good field position at their own 45. Later in the drive facing a 4th and 22, Pallay would show his magic when he connected with Gio DePompei for the 27 yard pick up.
The Explorers would get into the red zone a few plays later and would finally punch it into the end zone with a 1-yard keeper by Pallay. The touchdown would put Hudson on the board still trailing 14-7 with 14 seconds left into the half.
Hudson would punt and Nordonia gets two quick plays in before halftime comes around with the Knights still leading 14-7.
Nordonia would receive the second half kickoff but had a very quick three and out in their first possession to start the half.
Hudson would finally get going with their fast paced offense in the next drive. Pallay would connect with receiver Jenkins for a big 23 yard pass to give them the first down at the Nordonia 22. Facing a 3rd and 6, Pallay would keep it himself for a 7 yard run to pick up another first down. Hudson would get it into the end zone the very next play with an eleven yard run by Ian Ludewig. The Explorers tie it up at 14 with still 8:01 left in the third quarter.
It would be much of the same story again for Nordonia, as they again turned it over on downs.
Hudson would get their next drive going with two key plays. The first was a 10 yard pass from Pallay to Jenkins for the first down. That was followed by a 49 yard run by Ludewig who set up the Explorers 1st and 10 at the Nordonia 11.
The Explorers would then struggle the next three plays and be forced to attempt the field goal. But a bad snap would cause a fumble and Hudson would have to turn it over on downs.
Nordonia would then start off looking good on their next drive but Palinkas would turn it over once again, this time being intercepted by DePompei. The big return would set up a 1st and goal for Hudson and bring us to the end of the third quarter all tied up at 14.
It would not take long for the Explorers to punch it in with Ludewig who runs it in from 7 yards out. Hudson would take a 21-14 lead with 11:30 remaining in the 4th quarter.
Another quick three and out by Nordonia gives Hudson the ball back nearly just a minute later. This drive the Explorers would slow the ball down and eat clock. They run the clock all the way down with runs all by the same player. Ludewig took over the 65 yard drive all by himself and even got into the end zone reversing the field on an impressive scoring run. The great drive would force Nordonia to use two of their timeouts and give Hudson the 28-14 lead with 2:56 remaining.
Unfortunately the Nordonia Knights were unable to do anything with the time they had left and would turn it over on downs after facing a 4th and 35 on the final drive. The Knights would go on to lose at home.
The 28-14 win for Hudson keeps them undefeated at 7-0 while the loss for Nordonia drops them to 5-2.
It was a run-heavy offense all night long for Hudson. Pallay was just 8/10 for 81 yards with his only touchdown coming on the ground. Ludewig led the way for the offense with 38 carries for 214 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jenkins led the short receiving list for the Explorers with 2 receptions for 87 yards.
Nordonia was more balanced in the first half before becoming more pass-heavy after falling behind in the second half and it showed. Palinkas was 20/35 for 180 yards, but along with 3 turnovers in this game. Palinkas was successful on the ground however, tallying 18 carries for 104 yards and 1 rushing touchdown. Tufts led all receivers with 8 receptions for 69 yards.
Hudson coach Jeff Gough spoke postgame about his teams big road win.
This game recap is brought to you by Brunswick Auto Mart!