Gulf two-way standout Leon Orr stole the show Friday night at Cobra Stadium and showed everyone why he committed to the Florida Gators as he recorded one sack, one fumble recovery and an interception to lead the injured Buccaneers to a 17-14 victory over Hudson.
"And that's why he's going to the Florida Gators," coach Jay Fulmer said. "I told Leon before the game he needed to show everyone why he's going to the Gators and he did that tonight."
Gulf started the game without injured No. 1 quarterback Madison Burr, going with sophomore Tyshon Peters. Burr didn't play quarterback because of a nagging knee injury but started at outside linebacker.
The Buccaneers found success in the running game despite missing last year's Pasco County rushing champion Adrian Golden, who transferred to Tarpon Springs. Gulf used a stable of backs, led by Ridgewood transfer Austin Jackson, who had 96 yards rushing.
Hudson scored the game's first touchdown on a 28-yard pass from Zack Wynn to James Tello with 9:50 left in the first half. Gulf, though, answered with a 56-yard run by junior Niko Losurdo less than two minutes later.
Gulf led at halftime 10-6, but the Cobras would not go down quietly as Wynn connected on another touchdown pass to Tello, this time from 42 yards with 5:24 left in the third.
But Orr later tipped and intercepted a Wynn pass to seal the win. Wynn finished 14-of-31 for 150 yards and two touchdowns, but his last pass would prove costly.
"It was a game of matchups really," said Hudson coach Mark Nash. "Unless you have a 6-5, 300-pound lineman to block (Orr), it is hard to stop him."