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Hudson pulls out another late win


© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 9, 2001

With 40 seconds left late Friday night and down to its final play, 7 yards from the end zone, Hudson coach Terry Voyles made the only call he figured he could make.

Give Dale Lemons the ball.

And Lemons, Hudson's wingback, did the same thing he did all night, converting the run to give Hudson its second last-minute victory in as many weeks, 20-19 over Northgate (Calif.) at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex.

"We got the ball, and we were down. And it made us pumped up," quarterback Rob Petrucci said. "We didn't want to go out of that game with a loss.

"The fourth-down plays before, Dale came through for us. I didn't have a problem giving it to him again."

Lemons's touchdown improved Hudson to 2-0 and capped a back-and-forth game.

Kenny Eva opened the scoring with a 1-yard first-quarter touchdown run, which finished a 68-yard yard drive. But Northgate returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to set up a tying touchdown. Thanks to a Lemons kickoff return for 49 yards, Hudson retook the lead in the second quarter as Petrucci ran it in from 5 yards out on the option.

Northgate had a chance to tie the game right before halftime but missed the extra point, leaving it 14-13. Taking advantage of a Hudson turnover in the fourth quarter, Northgate drove 49 yards for the go-ahead score, missing the extra point to make it 19-14. With seven minutes remaining, the Cobras got the ball for the last time.

Starting on their 28, Hudson got a 3-yard run from Eva and a 34-yard dash by Petrucci.

After the offense stalled, it brought up Hudson's first fourth down. Lemons converted with a 21-yard run. Three plays later, Lemons ran 5 1/2 yards on fourth-and-5, and five players after that, Hudson faced a fourth down with 40 seconds left.

"We hadn't been real successful at passing," Voyles said. "We ran a counter trap, and it busted. We were lucky."

Eva finished with a game-high 105 yards on 23 carries. Lemons added 72 on nine carries, and Petrucci ran nine times for 42 yards.

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