Cobras outlast Hornets in wild Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl II shootout, 57-35

Weeki Wachee senior Diante Thomas (8) is upended after a reception Wednesday night at Hudson High. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
OFF TO THE RACES – Weeki Wachee junior Sebastian Class rushed 21 times for a team-best 147 yards and added his 12th and 13th touchdowns of the season in Wednesday’s 57-35 loss to Hudson in the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl II. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
Weeki Wachee senior Shaun Young makes this difficult catch despite the defense of Hudson High’s Ceith Rivera (4). Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
FOOTBALL

WWHS’ six turnovers

(4 INTs, 2 fumbles) wastes

Class’ 147 yards, 2 TDs

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

HUDSON – On a night where the respective defenses for Weeki Wachee and Hudson took a back seat, the offensive units stood out.

In Wednesday’s Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl II, the host Cobras (6-5) snapped a three-game losing skein scoring the game‘s final 21 points to stiff arm Weeki Wachee (3-7), 57-35.

Cobras pile up yardage, TDs

Hudson, which had been shutout in back-to-back games by River Ridge and Zephyrhills and recently kicked off two of its biggest linemen: seniors 6-foot-3, 300-pound Oshea Spahr and 6-foot-2, 247-pound Justin Jollify for missing practice, but didn’t miss a beat.

The Cobras rolled up a game-high 404 offensive yards against a sieve-like WWHS defense, that came into the game yielding 35.0 points per game and 46 touchdowns – both Hernando County highs.

This time, WWHS surrendered eight touchdowns – including four on the ground, three via passing and on one on a pick six.

On a short week of preparation for the Hornets – by contrast the hosts were coming off a bye week – the hosts stepped on the gas after Weeki Wachee junior tailback Sebastian Class was stopped short on a two-point conversion with 6:07 left in the third quarter with HHS clinging to a 36-35 lead.

The West Pasco County gridders went on a 21-0 run to claim its second straight Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl victory.

Last fall, HHS clubbed Central, 50-12.

Hudson, which ran off 196 yards of total offense in the first half on 21 snaps, added 31 plays for 208 yards in the second half.

The Cobras dominated the turnover battle, 6-1.

In all, Hudson overcame a WWHS onside kick recovery by Diante Thomas, with four interceptions by four different players: Brice Phillipus, Trey Doran, Cody Sutphin and Ceith Rivera, and two fumble recoveries by Mike Bacon (on an onside kick) and Patrick Coleman (on a lateral).

HHS junior Darius Smith accounted for 168 of the Cobras’ 240 rushing yards on 14 carries, including his sixth and seventh touchdowns of the season (49, 61 yards).

In the 92-point game, after Bacon recovered his own onside kick to open the game, Smith scooted 49 yards to break the seal on the scoreboard only 12 seconds into the fourth straight series win by the Cobras.

Senior quarterback Trey Doran connected on 9-of-17 passes for game-high 164 yards, adding his 10th, 11th and 12th touchdown passes of the season.

On defense, Doran returned one of WWHS quarterback Vaughn Sykora’s four turnovers (one fumble, three INTs) for a 30-yard interception return in the second quarter.

Dominick Rutigliano

Doran’s favorite target, junior Dominick Rutigliano, latched on to four aerials for a game-high 87 yards and added his sixth and seventh TD receptions of the season.

As a triple threat, Rutigliano rushed nine times for 32 yards and chipped in his team-leading eighth and ninth touchdowns (4, 3 yards) of the season in the fourth quarter. On defense, he didn’t miss a snap. He entered as the team’s third-leading tackler.

Rivera, who added his seventh interception of the season late in the fourth quarter, also caught four passes for 40 yards and tallied his second touchdown of the season from 11 yards out in the third quarter.

Classy effort

Sebastian Class

The loss overshadowed Class’s 21-carry, 147-yard rushing effort highlighted by his 12th and 13th rushing touchdowns of the season from 16 and 56 yards out. All this for the listed 5-foot-8, 145-pound back, who rushed 12 times in 2016 for a net of 19 yards.

Class finished with a school record 1,286 yards on 138 attempts. Class also latched on to two passes for 20 yards.

Toby Rahman

WWHS sophomore Toby Rahman added six carries for 26 yards, highlighted by his sixth and seventh rushing touchdowns of the season (2, 5 yards).

Hernando County’s second-best receiver, senior Shaun Young, snared two aerials for 55 yards while Thomas added two grabs for 40 yards.

Through the air, Thomas connected on 2-of-5 passes for 43 yards but suffered his eighth interception.

Vaughn Sykora

The first-year Hornet signal caller Sykora took a knee on the last play of the first half for a 5-yard loss and hurled a backward pass (lateral) that Coleman recovered, officially rushing twice for minus-16 yards and a fumble.

Through the air, Sykora completed 7-of-15 passes for 43 yards, but suffered his county-leading 15th, 16th and 17th interceptions of the season.

Jacob Gray

“We did some good things, especially offensively,” noted the Hornets’ first-year mentor Jacob Gray. “Our Achilles heel all season has been allowing the big play. You give up enough big plays, you lose.

“I thought Hudson made adjustments, especially in the second half,” added Gray. ‘Since we faced a left-handed quarterback, we tried squeeze the right-side of the field. But they’d throw a shuttle pass. I’d love to coach against (Hudson’s first-year counterpart Tim) Hicks every game.

“… Hudson is a first-class program. They’ve got some kids who can ball. They played better than they looked on film.”

Despite the setback, Gray was optimistic.

“We set the school record for rushing yardage and we scored some touchdowns tonight (5). We lived with the offensive side of the ball this season,” he added. “Looking ahead, we’ll continue to learn to tackle and do things the right way.”

Hudson 57, Weeki Wachee 35

Hudson Cobras
 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

TOT

WW

14

15

6

0

35

HUD

14

15

14

14

57

Individual Scoring:

HUD – Smith 49 run (Bacon kick).

WW – Rahman 2 run (Guardiola kick).

HUD – Smith 61 run (Bacon kick).

WW – Class 56 run (Guardiola kick).

HUD – Doran 30 interception return (Bacon kick).

WW – Rahman 5 run (Guardiola kick).

WW – Class 16 run (Rahman run).

HUD – Rutigliano 47 pass from Doran (Smith run).

HUD – Rutigliano 14 pass from Doran (Bacon kick).

WW – Thomas 15 run (Class run fails).

HUD – Rivera 11 pass from Doran (Bacon kick).

HUD – Rutigliano 4 run (Bacon kick).

HUD – Rutigliano 3 run (Bacon kick).

 

WW

 

HUD

First Downs

16

11

Rushing Attempts/Yards

44-229

35-240

Completions/Pass Atts./Int.

9-20-4

9-17-0

Passing Yards

93

164

Total Offense

64-322

52-404

Fumbles/Lost

3-2

1-1

Return Yards

6-35

5-16

Punts/Average

4-32.8

5-32.2

Penalties

6-25

6-38

 

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