And hold off Hudson 42-19 as tempers flare in a key district matchup.
By FRANK PASTOR
Published October 2, 2004
HUDSON - Wesley Chapel coach John Castelamare could see first-year running back Antonio Melvin was growing frustrated after a couple of Hudson players started talking to him late in the fourth quarter Friday at Cobra Stadium.
Make your points on the scoreboard, Castelamare reminded Melvin, not with your mouth.
Moments later, Melvin ran 33 yards for the final touchdown in a 42-19 victory that put Wesley Chapel in the driver's seat for the Class 3A, District 9 championship.
"That's the way you do it," Castelamare said. "If somebody's going to say something to you, you don't hit back. You go score a touchdown."
Anthony Rawson passed for 162 yards and two scores and Nigel Bryant rushed for two more as Wesley Chapel (4-0, 2-0) extended its regular-season win streak to 14 games.
Hudson (3-2, 1-1) dropped its second straight game despite scoring 12 more points than Wesley Chapel's defense allowed in its first three games combined.
The Cobras' frustration was evident after the game, as first-year coach Mark Nash screamed at Castelamare, "You've got a bunch of thugs, Coach," during the postgame handshake.
"That's the most classless team I've ever played against in my entire life," Nash later told reporters.
The teams were pointing fingers at each other after Hudson, down 23 with five seconds to play, attempted a 58-yard field goal, then Wesley Chapel's Mario Melvin attempted to return the missed kick for a touchdown before being forced out of bounds near midfield.
But Castelamare said he was more concerned about the way the clock was operated and had Wesley Chapel's principal keep track on the sideline.
"It's a tough football game; we played a tough team, and they came back," Castelamare said.
"They're known as a second-half team. They started coming back on us, and our boys met the challenge, so there's going to be a little frustration out there."
Wesley Chapel, which started seven possessions in Hudson territory, took advantage of outstanding field position to storm to a 16-0 first-quarter lead. Two Kyle Hatcher touchdown passes brought Hudson back to 23-13 at halftime, but runs of 3 yards by Bryant and 4 by Mario Jenkins put the game away.
"I thought you just saw two tough football teams out there," Castelamare said. "Hudson's good. We're just a little better tonight."