Goal line stand sends Raiders to state semifinals
Hudson’s defense stopped Appleton North twice inside the one-yard line in the final 12 seconds to preserve a 20-14 victory in a WIAA Division 1 state quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon in Chippewa Falls.
The win sends the Raiders to the state semifinals against defending champion Hartland Arrowhead this Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. in Stevens Point.
Hudson snapped a 14-14 tie with Wade Malecha’s second touchdown run of the game, from three yards out, with just over two minutes remaining. The extra point attempt was blocked, keeping Hudson’s lead at 20-14, and Appleton North returned the ensuing kickoff past midfield to the Raider 48 yard line.
The Lightening drove to the Raider 11 where Raider defensive back Cal Johnson broke up a pass in the end zone with 24 seconds left. Defensive end Jared Johnson chased Appleton North’s quarterback out of bounds at the seven to stop the clock with 18 seconds remaining before the Lightening completed a third down pass just short of the goal line and Raider defensive back Miles Lewis made the tackle at the one.
Following an Appleton North timeout with 12 seconds remaining, the Lightening tried a quarterback draw out of the shotgun on fourth down that came up short of the goal line but gave them a first down inside the one with 1.1 seconds left.
After trading timeouts, North tried the same play but the Raider defense held again, giving Hudson the 20-14 win and setting up a rematch of last year’s state semifinal game with Hartland Arrowhead.
Hudson scored on its first two possessions of the game to take a 14-0 lead. Hunter Frey hit Jake Alex Herink for a 1-yard touchdown on a halfback option before Malecha scored on a short touchdown run.
Appleton North cut the Raider lead in half with a touchdown in the third quarter and tied the score with just under six minutes remaining before the Raiders put together a 12-play drive to go ahead on Malecha’s second touchdown of the game.
See the Nov. 14 print edition of the Hudson Star-Observer for more on the game.