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Hudson Middle continues to shine on defense

By Hudson Middle coach Tony Qualtiere's count, a 22-0 win over Chasco on Sept. 14 marked his team's second shutout.

Actually, Hudson (2-0) allowed allowed points in a season-opening 35-8 win over River Ridge, but the Royal Knights scored late in that contest after Qualtiere pulled his starting defense.

"Our first(-string) defense has not been scored on," Qualtiere said. "We gave up eight points against River Ridge, but (they were scored on) the backups."

Hudson running back JoJo Cimino rushed for a game-high 168 yards and two touchdowns against Chasco.

Austin Havasy returned a punt for a touchdown and defensive end Brian Tier had a quarterback sack for a safety.

The last time Hudson began at 2-0 it finished unbeaten (6-0) and was the Pasco County Middle School Athletic Conference champion.

CENTENNIAL 20, STEWART 8: Brandon McSwain caught a touchdown and a two-point conversion, and had an interception in the Cyclones' win.

Tyler Guy threw both passes and Joey Maldonado ran for two touchdowns in Centennial's opener.

"We finally got to play," Centennial coach Ryan Brady said, alluding to a first-week bye and Sept. 7 matchup against Pasco that was canceled due to Hurricane Frances.

OT AGAIN: Overtime has been a boon the Gulf's junior varsity team and a bane to River Ridge's.

For the second straight year, Gulf's JV defeated River Ridge in overtime. Gulf won 28-27 Thursday, a higher scoring but similar result as last season's 8-7 victory over the Knights.

"It's a tough loss," River Ridge coach Brian Hooker said. "They've done it to us two years in a row."

The teams tied at 20 in regulation and Gulf won the coin toss in overtime but opted to play defense.

On River Ridge's possession, starting at the 10, Steve Ramsey caught a touchdown from Taylor Messer and Eric Krycinski kicked the extra point to give the Knights a 27-20 lead.

Reminded of Gulf's successful two-point conversion in last year's overtime, Hooker said going for two points "never crossed my mind, because I never thought they'd go for it again."

But the Bucs did with Kurt Holt running off left tackle for the conversion after Cody Clem's bootleg touchdown run.

Clem ran for two touchdowns and Carlos Domenech had a scoring run for Gulf in regulation.

For River Ridge, Joe Hankinson ran for a touchdown and scored on a fumble recovery, and Messer threw a scoring pass to Lance Babcock.