CUYAHOGA FALLS — The chains were a synopsis of the game.
It had no real effect on the final outcome in the Hudson football team’s 27-6 victory over host Cuyahoga Falls Friday at Clifford Stadium.
However, the officiating crew called for a measurement three times during the game. All three times, the spots favored the Explorers, who improved to 3-4 overall and 3-1 in the Suburban League National Conference.
It was just that kind of night for the Falls.
It was a night where the Black Tigers (1-6, 1-3) showed signs that they could compete with Hudson.
They had hopes of ending a now 17-year skid against their rivals to the north, only to continue to come up short.
Falls turned the ball over inside the Explorers’ 5-yard line twice.
As for the Explorers, the win was their third in the past four weeks.
Hudson had to adjust out of the gates as the Black Tigers loaded up the box to stop the running of senior Brady Ludewig.
With Ludewig held in check in the early going, the Explorers turned to their passing game.
"Their (the Black Tigers’) staff was very creative defensively," Hudson head coach Jeff Gough said. "Our offensive coaches and our offensive line did a nice job adjusting to the multiple looks and blitzes that we saw.
"Brady ran the ball really hard and Liam (Brennan) made some outstanding passes especially in some crucial downs."
Ludewig still finished with 146 yards in 22 attempts.
Falls went 48 minutes without a point.
The Black Tigers got their only score when quarterback Braunavan Arsenault’s scrambling Hail Mary pass to the end zone was hauled in by Eric Rosiak for the touchdown with the clock reading all zeros.
Even that came with a price as running back Rob Graves went down with an ankle/foot injury a few minutes earlier.
On the play that Graves was injured, he ripped off a 14-yard run to the Explorers’ 2. On the very next play, Falls fumbled.
Hudson’s first drive ended with an interception by Black Tigers’ senior Jordan Williams.
Hudson scored on its next possession.
Brennan completed a third-down 62-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Paltani on a crossing route. Paltani was stopped at the 1, but Brennan found the end zone two plays later. Jake Vidmar added the first of his three point-after tries to give the Explorers a 7-0 lead with 3 minutes, 44 seconds left in the first quarter.
Brennan finished with 239 yards passing (229 in the first half) on 13-of-21 passing.
Hudson’s defense picked off three passes in the first half.
After an interception by Michael Caniglia, the Explorers moved into scoring position with Brennan’s 44-yard bomb to Zach Palmer. The drive stalled, but Vidmar booted the first of his two field goals on the night, this one from 31 yards out for a 10-0 lead.
Merrick Widdoes’ interception on Falls’ next pass attempt gave the ball back to Hudson on its 45.
Ludewig had all three carries during the drive and finished the possession with a 7-yard TD run.
The Explorers did have issues with penalties. They committed 10 infractions for 116 yards.
The Black Tigers took advantage of Hudson’s penalties and moved the ball to the Explorers’ 6. But Dan DiGeronimo ended Falls’ promising drive with an interception.
On a drive that started at their 6, the Explorers reached Falls’ 11. But the possession ended with a 27-yard field goal to make it 20-0 with 2 seconds left in the half.
Paltani, who finished with six receptions for 135 yards in the first half, took over the signal-calling duties after halftime.
"It was pretty exciting to watch him (Paltani) maneuver around," Gough said. "He’s very confident in his ability and does what we ask him to do. He was able to catch easy passes, but what he does with the ball afterwards is fantastic."
Brennan added a 2-yard TD run to conclude the scoring for Hudson.
The Explorers are scheduled to host National Conference rival Stow-Munroe Falls this Friday at Hudson Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.