It took a few series, but once Keyser Helterbrand and the Raider offense got rolling there was no stopping them in their season opener against Kenosha Indian Trail Friday, Aug. 17, in Hudson.
After punting on their opening possession and turning the ball over on downs on their second, the Raiders scored on seven of their next eight possessions on their way to a 48-20 victory over the Hawks.
Helterbrand rushed for four touchdowns and Cole Danielson ran for 179 yards and two scores as Hudson opened the season 1-0.
Kenosha Indian Trail jumped out to a 6-0 lead when quarterback Alex Jarvis wiggled out of a sack and went 76-yards for a touchdown less than two minutes into the game. But it was all Hudson after that.
"We started out slow, giving up their first score on a long run and getting stopped on the first couple of offensive drives," Raider coach Adam Kowles said. "I think we were a little flat to start the game, and we're pressing too much early, trying for the big play instead of taking one play at a time."
The Raiders finally got a big play when Helterbrand found Matt McDevitt for a 39-yard gain to the Indian Trail 15-yard line to set up Hunter Luetken's 9-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. Ben Karls added the extra point to give Hudson a 7-6 lead they would never relinquish.
Indian Trail fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Alonzo Madsen fell on the ball at the Hawk's 22 yard line. Three plays later Danielson scored from five yards out for the Raiders second touchdown in less than a minute and a 14-6 lead.
Helterbrand scored the first of his four touchdowns on a six-yard run midway through the second quarter but Indian Trail took advantage of a short field following a Raider punt and scored with two seconds left in the half to cut the margin to 21-13.
"The entire first half was a little too uneven and we really never got into a rhythm," Kowles said. "In the second half we played with much more enthusiasm."
Danielson got the home crowd back into the game on the opening possession of the third quarter with a 39-yard run and Helterbrand capped the drive by dragging a pair of Indian Trail defenders over the goal line at the end of a 20-yard touchdown run to extend Hudson's lead to 28-13.
The Raider defense forced a three-and-out and the Raiders went right back down the field with Helterbrand keeping the ball for a 40-yard gain before carrying it over from five yards out for his third touchdown of the game.
Danielson outran the Indian Trail defense 72-yards for a score late in the third quarter and Helterbrand scored his fourth touchdown from three yards out seven seconds into the fourth quarter to make it a 48-13 game and bring on a running clock.
Indian Trail tacked on a meaningless touchdown later in the fourth to make the final 48-21.
Hudson put up 498 yards of total offense in the win, including 387 on the ground. Danielson finished with 179 yards on just nine carries while Helterbrand carried the ball nine times for 91 yards.
Kowles said the Raider offensive line looked good in its first game.
"For a unit that hasn't been together very long, they were one of the keys to our success on offense," he noted. "The perimeter blocking was also outstanding and led to many long runs."
Helterbrand finished 7-of-13 passing for 11 yards with McDevitt catching two of those passes for 72 yards.
"They limited our passing game but we were able to extend some plays and find some open receivers when we needed to," Kowles said. "All of the backs really ran hard as well and gained extra yards on most plays by breaking tackles. That's just effort, and our guys had it, especially in the second half."
Defensively Cody Cicha led the way with 12 tackles, including one sack and one tackle for loss. Madsen had six tackles with a sack and a loss while Ron Finch and Killian Dunn added a sack apiece.
"I was very pleased with how the defense played," Kowles said. "They really flew around and tackled well. Even when they threw the ball short, we were able to rally and stop them from gaining more yardage. I thought that was the key to the game because of their team speed. When some of their guys get out in the open, they are hard to catch, and we did a nice job of limiting their gains by making the first tackle and getting everyone to the ball."
Kowles said overall, it was a typical first game of the season.
"Some good, some bad, and some ugly," he said. "We have many things to work on, but we also have things to build on too."
The Raiders will look to avenge a pair of losses to Stevens point last season, including a one-point overtime loss in the first round of the WIAA playoffs, when they travel to Stevens Point this Friday, Aug. 24. Stevens Point dropped a 24-6 decision to Neenah in its season opener last week.
(IN BOX IN BODY OF STORY)
Indian Trail 6 7 0 7—20
Raiders 0 21 21 6—48
KIT-- Alex Jarvis 76-yard run (kick failed), 10:36
HUD-- Hunter Luetkens 9-yard run (Ben Karls kick), 11:55
HUD-- Cole Danielson 5-yard run (Ben Karls kick), 11:09
HUD-- Keyser Helterbrand 6-yard run (Ben Karls kick), 6:25
KIT-- Alex Jarvis 5-yard run (Jake Laurent kick), 0:02
HUD-- Keyser Helterbrand 20-yard run (Ben Karls kick), 10:40
HUD-- Keyser Helterbrand 5-yard run (Ben Karls kick), 7:30
HUD-- Cole Danielson 72-yard run (Dan Zeuli kick), 2:40
HUD-- Keyser Helterbrand 3-yard run (kick failed), 10:01
KIT-- Jaylen Grant 30-yard run (Jake Laurent kick), 7:17
Team KIT HUD
Total Yds. 258 498
Passing 114 111
Rushing 144 387
PASSING (Comp-Att-Yds-TD-Int): Keyser Helterbrand 7-13-111-0-0.
RUSHING: (Att-Yds): Cole Danielson 9-179; Keyser Helterbrand 9-91; Hunter Danielson 3-41; Mateo Renta 3-30; Alex Miller 1-10; Hunter Luetkens 1-9; Andrew Ross 1-(-6).
RECEIVING (No.-Yds): Matt McDevitt 2-72; Ben Karls 1-26; Cole Danielson 1-10; Charlie Pierce 2-3.
TACKLES (Tk-Ast): Cody Cicha 10-2; Alonzo Madsen 5-1; Jacob Daulton 4-1; Carter Reilly 4-0; East Belland 3-2; Jakes Assembo 3-1; Rocco Huppert 3-0; Jonah Becken 2-2; Ron Finch 2-0; Quintin Bates 2-0; Torin Phillips 1-3; Cade McDonald 1-1; Killian Dunn 1-0; Hunter Luetkens 0-1.
SACKS: Cody Cicha, Alonzo Madsen, Ron Finch, Killian Dunn.
TACKLES FOR LOSS: Ron Fich (2), Cody Cicha, Alonzo Madsen, Carter Reilly, Rocco Huppert, Jonah Becken, Quinten Bates, Killian Dunn.
FUMBLE RECOVERY: Alonzo Madsen.