BROOKSVILLE — Many project Hudson as playoff team this season, but in the first half of the season opener Friday night at Central, the Cobras were on their heels against a program that has won five total games in the past four years.
Hudson picked up the pace in the second half to pull away for a 32-23 victory, but a message was sent to both programs.
Second-year Cobras coach Mark Kantor was impressed with his front line, but was more impressed with the improvement that he saw in his opponents and how well-tuned their offense was.
"The tell-tale sign for us was up front with (our offensive line)," Kantor said, "but you have to give Central credit. This isn't the same team that was on the field for them last season. They ran and blocked so well, and it's hard to stop a team when you do that."
Hudson (1-0) had plenty of weapons on offense as well.
Third-year starting quarterback Joey Caruso had arguably the best game of his career, passing 4-of-8 for 89 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran seven times for 43 yards and another score.
Of the Cobras' 318 yards on the ground, Caruso only accounted for a small chunk.
Noah Siegrist (11 carries, 121 yards, one touchdown), Justyn Johnson (15 carries, 98 yards), and Zack Russell (4 carries, 59 yards, one touchdown) also pounded out their fair share. Russell also caught a 79-yard score.
Even with all those fireworks, the individual performance came in the uniform of losing squad, Central (0-1). Robbie Bradley, who ran for only 134 yards total last season and had a previous single-game high of 62 yards, carried the ball 20 times for 205 yards and a touchdown for the Bears.
He also kicked a 21-yard field goal and two extra points as the team's placekicker.
"Robbie's a warrior," Central coach Mike Einspahr said. "He's the one player on this roster that makes everyone else believe."