Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo's defense tends to dazzle more than usual vs. East Lake

Largo standout cornerback Cordell Hudson (11) says facing East Lake brings out the best in the Packers. “I know we’ll be ready,” he says.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times (2012)

Largo standout cornerback Cordell Hudson (11) says facing East Lake brings out the best in the Packers. “I know we’ll be ready,” he says.

LARGO — East Lake's aerial attack has struck fear in opposing defenses the past two years. The Eagles can fling the ball downfield with their electrifying receiving duo of George Campbell and Artavis Scott gaining separation and streaking into the end zone.

Largo's hard-hitting defense, however, has been like kryptonite to East Lake's high-octane offense.

The Packers (1-0) have won the past two meetings by a combined score of 63-17, holding the Eagles to fewer than 200 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns, one of which was caught by Scott.

The success of Largo's defense is not attributed to any exotic scheme to create confusion or special game plan to take away the big play from East Lake's receivers.

The Packers simply exert their will and force the game to be played on their terms.

"We just try to play fundamentally sound defense and hit the other team as hard as we can," Largo defensive coordinator Jeremy Frioud said. "Usually, offenses don't like that."

Playing against Largo's defense is like coming across the neighborhood tough guy in a dark alley. The Packers use a combination of physical play, sure tackling and timely blitzes.

"When you play against us, you're going to get hit and you're going to get hit hard," Largo defensive back Cordell Hudson said.

This brawling defense does not only have bulging muscles, but also a solid IQ.

That starts with Hudson, a cornerback who can do it all: shadow the speediest receivers and bump the tallest off course. He can run, leap, tackle, intercept. He also doubles as a defensive magician, the player who makes elite wideouts disappear.

Hudson is like having an extra defender because he removes a wide area of the field, essentially by himself. He frees up the safety or cornerback who would provide help to do something else, to blitz or cover another receiver or stalk another area of the field.

Hudson said he held Campbell to one catch when the two were matched against each other last year. He doesn't know which receiver he will be defending tonight.

"Whoever is on the right side of the field, I'll have them covered," Hudson said.

It should be noted the East Lake offense operated at only half speed last year because Scott was suspended. But the Eagles (1-0) also are breaking in a new quarterback.

Jake Hudson — taking over for county passing leader Pete DiNovo — fared well in Week 1, completing 4 of 6 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown against Palm Harbor University.

Now comes the biggest test.

"This is always a good matchup, one that seems to bring out the best in us," Cordell Hudson said. "It's a really good offense with a lot of playmakers. I know we'll be ready."

Bob Putnam can be reached at or on Twitter @BobbyHomeTeam.

Largo's defense tends to dazzle more than usual vs. East Lake 09/05/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon


    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  2. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  3. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017


    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  4. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  5. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.