Cobras refuse to look ahead to Monday's key district game, routing Zephyrhills 66-0.
By FRANK PASTOR
Published October 30, 2004
ZEPHYRHILLS - Friday was a long night for Hudson coach Mark Nash, who planned to spend the evening in the coaches' office preparing for Monday's shootout at Wesley Chapel.
It was even longer for Zephyrhills coach Tom Fisher, who suffered the worst loss in his 16 seasons, 66-0 at Bulldog Stadium.
Hudson intercepted six passes, returning two for touchdowns, to secure a spot alongside Wesley Chapel and Pasco in Monday's shootout to determine the Class 3A, District 9 champion and runnerup.
The Cobras (7-2) set school records for points in a game, eclipsing the 56 they scored last year against Zephyrhills (3-5), and margin of victory, topping a 52-0 win over Clearwater Central Catholic in 1989.
"They focused," Nash said. "There's been no talk of shootouts, there's been no talk of playoffs, there's been no talk of anything. They were focused on this team. They knew what we needed to do to take care of first before we could talk about that."
As if postponing his 100th victory another week wasn't difficult enough, Fisher agreed to a running clock for the first time in his career.
"We weren't ready to play, simple as that," Fisher said. "We couldn't do anything right, and they couldn't do anything wrong."
The outcome was almost the reverse of a 72-0 Zephyrhills victory over Hudson on the same field four years earlier. Hudson assistant Robert Mahler, who played with the 2000 Cobras, reminded the players of the score in the days before the game and thanked them after Friday's victory.
"He was real fired up about this game," Hudson free safety Royce Simonds said. "We were thinking about watching it on the bus to get us fired up, but we never got the tape."
Simonds put on a show of his own, intercepting two of Sederrik Cunningham's first four passes to start the onslaught. He returned the first 41 yards for a touchdown and took the second to the Zephyrhills 3 before fumbling. Two plays later, Cannelios Ansley was tackled in the end zone for a safety that put Hudson ahead 17-0.
Nate Toole rushed for three touchdowns, Vince Ferlita two. Kyle Hatcher passed for two touchdowns, and Matt Edelman returned an interception for another score.