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Raiders take care of business against North

Hudson defensive back Devin Jennings wraps up Eau Claire North's Grant Lokken after a short gain in the second quarter of the Raiders' 34-14 win over the Huskies Friday night at Newton Field. Bob Burrows photo

Hudson jumped out to a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter against Eau Claire North and cruised to a 34-14 win Friday night at Newton Field to maintain its hold on first place in the Big Rivers Conference.

The Raiders can lock up at least a share of their first BRC title by defeating Eau Claire Memorial Thursday night (Otc. 22) in Eau Claire. Hudson (5-1 BRC, 7-1 overall) and Menomonie (5-1, 6-2) enter the final game of the season tied for the conference lead. The Raiders defeated the Indians 20-6 Oct. 8. Menomonie wraps up the regular season at home against Chippewa Falls (3-3, 4-4) Thursday.

Last Friday against Eau Claire North, Beau Hommes and Andy Edholm each ran for over 100 yards and Mike Bennett collected three of the Raiders' four interceptions against Husky quarterback Brett Bodenburg in the Raiders' 20-point win.

"The work that these guys have put in during practice and in the offseason is paying off," Raider coach Adam Kowles said. "It was one of those games where we just had to grind it out. I don't think it was our best game of the season, so we need to eliminate some mistakes as we move forward. Overall, I was pleased with the effort of all the players. It was a true team effort."

Hommes gave Hudson a lead it would never relinquish when he faked to Edholm and kept the ball for a 39-yard touchdown run on the Raiders' first possession of the game. Edholm carried the ball over from one yard out and Hommes added the two-point conversion to make it a 14-0 game at the 8 minute mark of the second quarter, and Hommes added a two-yard touchdown run a minute later. Jake Denison added the extra point and the Raiders were in control.

Travis Hilden added a pair of touchdown runs in the second half from 15 and 7 yards out to seal the win. Both of Eau Claire North scores came on Jordan Dickerson runs of 1 and 8 yards.

Hommes finished with 117 yards in 19 rushing attempts while Edholm carried the ball 18 times for 108 yards. Matt Weeks had the only Raider pass reception for a 12-yard gain.

Bodenburg attempted 44 passes for North and completed 21 to account for 243 of the Huskies' 253 total yards. But the Raiders picked him off four times--three by Bennett and another by Tyler Smrcina. Smrcina, who finished with a team-high eight tackles, also recovered a fumble to give the Raiders five takeaways in the game.

"Defensively we really shut down their running game," Kowles said. "When you can do that and force them to throw into coverage, you have a great chance of winning. On offense, I think we had over 300 yards rushing. When you can do that and win the turnover battle, you should be in good shape."

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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