WESLEY CHAPEL — Wesley Chapel coach Anthony Egan took Friday’s game against Hudson more personally than others.
It showed on the scoreboard after his Wildcats rocked the Cobras 44-6 in a key Class 5A, District 9 game on Wesley Chapel’s senior night. The Wildcats (5-2, 3-1) forced six turnovers — three leading to touchdowns — and held Hudson (5-3, 2-2) to a season low in points.
“Our team made a hell of a statement tonight,” Egan said. “A lot of people were talking about their quarterback (senior Hunter Young), some of the (other) players they had, and how they’ve been able to put huge numbers up every game.
“There was a lot of hype about them, and nothing about us. That’s the way we like it. We think people didn’t respect us.”
Wesley Chapel, which defeated Hudson for the fifth consecutive time since 2016, barely broke a sweat after rolling to a 20-0 first-quarter lead.
It was the third loss in a row for the Cobras after starting the season with five wins. Hudson had scored at least 33 points in six of its first seven games, including more than 50 twice. Its previous season low was a 14-point showing two weeks against Mitchell.
“We’re looking for opportunities to get to the playoffs and make something happen,” Egan said. “(It was) absolutely our best game of the year. We were 100 percent locked in.”
The Wildcats, who didn’t throw a pass before intermission, wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as senior Jaylan Blake scooted 54 yards on the game’s third play to cap a 56-yard drive.
On Hudson’s first series, senior Nehemiah Morgan intercepted a pass from Young and returned it 88 yards to the Cobras’ 2. On the next play, Wesley Chapel senior quarterback Ethan Harper bulled into the end zone for a 14-0 Wildcats’ lead.
Later in the quarter, Morgan recovered a fumble by Hudson sophomore Logan Shawell at the Wesley Chapel 37. Again on the ensuing play, Morgan sprinted 63 yards to give the Wildcats a 20-0 advantage with 2:06 left in the first.
Hudson finally scored when senior Bryan Lindsay took it in from 8 yards out to cap an 88-yard, six-play drive. But 76 seconds later, Blake returned Wesley Chapel’s lead to three scores with a 46-yard touchdown run. Blake finished the first half with 122 yards on nine carries.
Late in the first half, Wesley Chapel senior Jaden Louden picked off his first of two Young passes and returned it 80 yards to the Hudson 10. The Wildcats moved the ball to the 4, but failed to score when a 25-yard field goal attempt by junior Alejandro Lopez was blocked.
Wesley Chapel senior Jorden McCaslin, son of former Florida and Green Bay Packers linebacker Eugene McCaslin, scored twice in the third quarter on runs of 9 and 38 yards to give the Wildcats a 41-6 lead with 4:48 showing to start a running clock. The first touchdown was set up by an interception by senior Ayden Roysdon.
Later, sophomore Wesley Young recovered a fumble for Wesley Chapel’s sixth turnover. A 37-yard field goal by junior Joshua Lindo closed out the scoring.