HUDSON — On paper, it could have been considered a mismatch.
The Hudson football team hopes to compete for a Suburban League National Conference title and reach the playoffs.
Cuyahoga Falls, on the other hand, entered Friday’s game on a five-game losing streak and just one win in conference play since the Suburban League expanded to a two-conference, 15-team format in 2015.
The Black Tigers’ plan was simple: Keep the ball away from the Explorers.
It worked — temporarily. As the 2019 season has proven, it’s almost possible to keep Hudson’s high-powered offense in check.
The host Explorers improved to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the conference after cruising past Falls 48-20 at Hudson Memorial Stadium’s Murdough Field.
Hudson, which led 48-0 after three quarters, earned its third straight win. Falls dropped to 2-6 overall and 0-5 in the conference.
While the Explorers went with their hurry-up offense, the Black Tigers elected to take their time.
For one half, Falls’ strategy worked. To some degree, at least.
The Black Tigers nearly doubled Hudson’s time of possession in the first two quarters.
But there was one small problem. The Explorers, who have won five of their last six games, led 34-0.
As for Hudson head coach Jeff Gough, his outlook was rather matter-of-fact: onto the next one.
"We went 1-0 [last Friday] and we are going to try to go 1-0 [this week]," Gough said.
Explorers’ quarterback Jake Paltani, who retreated to the bench for good late in the second quarter, had touchdown rushes of 2 and 17 yards and he also completed TD passes to Luke McLaughlin (42 yards) and Colin Pierce (26).
"On that touchdown to Luke, Jacob had somebody right in his face, but he was poised to stand in there and deliver the ball like he did," Gough said. "That speaks a lot about Jacob and his growth at quarterback."
Drew Lightner had a 5-yard TD run late in the first half and Ryan Neher and Ryan Evans had TD carries of 10 and 24 yards, respectively, for the Explorers.
Hudson outgained the Black Tigers 455-299, including 284-197 on the ground.
Paltani and Neher combined to throw for 171 yards. Paltani also had 94 yards in 12 rushing attempts and Lighter carried the ball eight times for 105 yards.
"Watching a guy like Ryan Neher and a bunch of these other seniors come in and pick up where we left off, it was fun to watch," Gough said.
Pierce led Hudson’s receiving corps with four catches for 68 yards. Robert Graves ended the night with 28 carries for 170 yards to lead Falls.
The Explorers are scheduled to visit Bulldog Stadium to face archrival Stow-Munroe Falls (5-3, 2-3).
"It’s tough to win at their place," Gough said of the Bulldogs "It’s going to be their Senior Night. They have a great team and a great program. Records don’t matter."