LAND O'LAKES — Interim coach Patrick Corcoran won his debut and backup quarterback Ryan Bird had the game of his life in Land O'Lakes' 42-10 victory over Hudson. Friday night, however, was more about who was not at Gator Stadium.
Coach Matt Kitchie, assistant Jason Hatcher and cheerleading coach Celisa Cook were suspended Friday for unspecified reasons. Standout quarterback Stevie Weatherford also did not play.
"(Principal) Ric Mellin came to me and basically he asked me to take over and that's exactly what I'm doing," said Corcoran, who in his first season at Land O'Lakes coached the offensive line. "It's tough circumstances. We've just got to keep things going."
Land O'Lakes (9-1) travels to Jefferson next week for a first-round Class 3A playoff game.
The Gators racked up 482 yards on offense against the winless Cobras (0-10) with Bird leading the way. The junior passed for 253 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
"We were just trying to do short dunks to build (Bird's) confidence up for next week," said Corcoran, implying Weatherford could miss the playoff game. "He passed the test. The two interceptions were deflections."
Hudson actually led twice in the early going. The Cobras took the opening kickoff and capped a five-play, 64-yard drive with Kyle Gryzb's 27-yard field goal. Bird's first scoring pass, a 31-yarder to Will Irwin, gave the Gators a 7-3 lead, but Hudson came right back on Owen Derksen's 19-yard touchdown run.
Land O'Lakes went ahead for good and started a 35-0 run on Ryan Lane's 4-yard scoring run in the second quarter. Lane, who rushed for a game-high 101 yards, added a 2-yard touchdown run in the second half.