WESLEY CHAPEL — When Mike Lawrence was promoted to head coach at Wiregrass Ranch during the offseason, he made it his mission to promote discipline and a winning attitude for the Bulls, who had not won a game in more than two years.
His impact has shown as Wiregrass Ranch is off to its best start since 2009 — 2-0 — after defeating Hudson 25-7 Friday night.
But even the historic win didn’t sit well with Lawrence, who wasn’t pleased with his team’s mistakes — mainly penalties. The Bulls were flagged five times for 75 yards.
“We haven’t done anything,” said Lawrence, a former Kansas State football player. “We didn’t execute. They thought they were just going to come out and walk all over them, and that’s not the case.”
Despite a steady rain and the suspension of seven starters for the first quarter for unspecified reasons, the Bulls jumped out to an early lead. Senior Bryce Wilson kicked an 18-yard field goal and added another from 27 yards in the second quarter to give Wiregrass a 6-0 advantage at the half.
The Bulls were unable to contain Hudson’s offense to open the third quarter, though, as the Cobras drove 73 yards for a 5-yard touchdown run by quarterback Joey Caruso to take a one-point lead.
But that’s all Hudson (1-1) would get as Wiregrass scored two straight touchdowns in the fourth quarter — a 57-yard pass from Shane Bucenell (7-of-15, 178 yards) to Charbel Faddul and a 3-yard fumble recovery by Jaye Miner — to pull away.
“There’s going to be some (darn) changes,” Hudson coach Mark Kantor said. “That was a pitiful second half.”
Miner finished with 17 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
“The positive out of this is we got a victory, which I’m proud of,” Lawrence said. “This team never quit tonight. But in our minds, we’re still 0-22.”