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Litte Brown Jug stays home

Members of the Raider football team display the Little Brown Jug after beating River Falls, 40-0, last Friday night at Ramer Field in River Falls. It’s the fifth straight year Hudson has won the trophy, established in 1953., that goes to the winner of the Hudson-River Falls game each season. (Hudson Star-observer photo by Bob Burrows)1 / 3
Hudson junior fullback Max Gierke breaks into the River Falls secondary for a gain of 23 yards in the third quarter of the Raiders’ 40-0 victory over the Wildcats last Friday night in River Falls. Gierke finished with 46 rushing yards on the night.2 / 3
Hudson’s Miles Lewis, left, and Cal Johnson break up a pass intended for River Falls halfback Adrian Paurus in the first quarter of last Friday night’s battle for the Little Brown Jug between River Falls and Hudson at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field in River Falls. Hudson retained possession of the jug for the fifth straight year with a 40-0 victory. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Bob Burrows)3 / 3

Hudson’s defense forced a big turnover on River Falls’ first possession of the game, and the offense did the rest as the Raiders rolled to a 40-0 victory over the Wildcats in River Falls last Friday night.

The victory keeps the Little Brown Jug in the Raider trophy case for the fifth straight year and keeps Hudson undefeated in Big Rivers Conference play heading into this Friday night’s showdown with unbeaten Menomonie.

Landry Otten threw three touchdown passes and John Uchytil tossed two in his first game back from injury in nearly a month as the Raiders posted their seventh straight victory after a season-opening loss to Minnetonka.

“It's always good to win the rivalry game and get the jug,” Raider head coach Adam Kowles said. “We talked all week about one game at a time, one play at a time, and no matter what the records are, the Hudson-River Falls game will be a hard fought contest. This game was no exception, because we really had to work for it, and every player on the team contributed to the victory.”

The 1-7 Wildcats had the Raiders on their heels early, taking the opening kickoff and putting together five straight first downs to move the ball to the Raider 12. But linebacker Ross Wusterbarth forced a fumble that was recovered by Lonnie Meinke. Six plays later Otten found Jake Giordana over the top for a 29-yard touchdown and Hunter Frey added the extra point to give the Raiders a lead they would never relinquish.

“I was really happy to see that our defense made adjustments after they were able to drive down on the first series,” Kowles said. “We did some great things on defense the rest of the way and every single guy contributed by playing team defense.”

Frey scored on a six-yard run early in the second quarter to make it a 13-0 game and Giordana hauled in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Uchytil on 4th-and-22 on the Raiders’ next possession to widen the gap to 20-0.

Following another Wildcat punt, Otten connected with Alex Herink for a 73-yard touchdown to give the Raiders a 26-0 halftime lead.

Herink hauled in a 16-yard scoring strike from Otten early in the third quarter before Giordana scored his third touchdown of the game on a 68-yard pass from Uchytil to make the final 40-0.

Otten and Uchytil combined to throw for 308 yards with Otten completing 5-of-6 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns and Uchytil connecting on 4-of-5 attempts for 135 yards and two scores.

Giordana finished with four catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns while Herink had four catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

“We were able to take advantage of the passing game on offense which was huge,” Kowles said. “We were so-so in the run game, though.”

The Raiders rushed for 176 yards in 37 attempts, led by Frey’s 67 yards on 11 carries.

“We were just not quite clicking in the ground game,” Kowles said. “It's the time of year where that needs to be better so that we can stay multi-dimensional. Hats off to the front of River Falls, though, for making us earn every inch on the ground.”

Linebacker Jack Koski recorded a team-high seven tackles while Wusterbarth finished with five tackles, one sack and one forced fumble to lead the Raider defense, which held River Falls to just 72 yards of offense following the Cats’ 82-yard opening possession.

All eyes will be on Newton Field this Friday night when the 6-0 Raiders (7-1 overall) host the 6-0 Menomonie Mustangs (8-0 overall) with the BRC title on the line at 7 p.m. at Newton Field. The Mustangs are coming off a 35-12 victory at Superior last week. Menomonie is ranked sixth in this week’s Associated Press Large School rankings while the Raiders are No. 10.

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

HUD—Jake Giordana 28-yard pass from Landry Otten (Hunter Frey kick), 3:42.

Second Quarter

HUD—Hunter Frey 6-yard run (Kick failed), 11:12

HUD—Jake Giordana 24-yard pass from John Uchytil (Hunter Frey kick), 8:10

HUD—Alex Herink 73-yard pass from Landry Otten (Kick failed), 3:51.

Third Quarter

HUD—Alex Herink 16-yard pass from Landry Otten (Hunter Frey kick), 9:57.

HUD—Jake Giordana 68-yard pass from John Uchytil (Hunter Frey kick), 0:52.3.

Fourth Quarter

No Scoring

Team Stats

Individual Statistics

RUSHING (att-yds): Hunter Frey 11-67; Max Gierke 6-46; Dayton Diemel 7-25; Jordan Carranza 2-9; Stephen Tripicchio 1-9; Jacob Thurmes 2-8; John Uchytil 1-7; Landry Otten 1-6; Riley Oesterreich 1-4; Henrik Wiesemeyer 4-0; Yuri Bronson 1-(-5).

PASSING (comp-att-int-yds): Landry Otten 5-6-0-173; John Uchytil 4-5-0-135.

RECEIVING (rec-yds): Jake Giordana 4-154; Alex Herink 4-141; Hunter Frey 1-13.

TACKLES: Jack Koski 7, Ross Wusterbarth 5, Lucas Traynor 4, Miles Lewis 3, Jared Johnson 3, Zach Motu 2, Zach Kraft 2, Bryce DuCharme 2, Beau Godbout 2, Jonah Mahowald 2, Cal Johnson 2, Lonnie Meinke 2, Ryan Reiter 1, Bobby Huepful 1, Derek Johnston 1, Gavin Goeltz 1, Eliot Motu 1, Nick Bloomberg 1, Wes Korum 1, Matt Johnson 1.

SACKS: Ross Wusterbarth

FORCED FUMBLE: Ross Wusterbarth


Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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