The 4-4 (3-3) Hudson Tigers loss last week hurt much more that they can no longer automatically qualify for the playoffs. They can still get in with their playoff points, but they have a must win this week when they host the 2-6 (1-5) Columbia Central Golden Eagles. The Tigers’ running game should be able to dominate and get them to their 5th win. From there it is watching where all the pieces fall.
Columbia Central started their season on the road when they traveled to the Napoleon Pirates. The Golden Eagles had a lot of success on the ground as they gave an impressive 8 different running backs at least a carry. They didn’t know who their running back would be and they tried everyone. Nick Gregg recorded 9 carries for 40 yards and a touchdown. He also returned a punt for a touchdown and added a two point conversion run as Columbia Central won 28-6.
From here they opened a rough stretch in their season. They stayed on the road when they traveled to the Ionia Bulldogs. They didn’t stand a chance in this one as the Golden Eagles were defeated 49-20.
They then came home for back-to-back games. The first was against the Hillsdale Hornets. This game marked the start of conference play and the Hornets out rushed Columbia Central for the 20-12 victory that saw a big 3rd quarter comeback for the win. The Golden Eagles won their second game, which was against the Onsted Wildcats. A 28 point first half was enough for the victory as the final ended up 28-6. Maurice Conner lead the way for Columbia Central with 11 carries for 85 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Golden Eagles hit the road for two games, the first taking them to the Blissfield Royals. They didn’t stand a chance in this one as they were trounced 45-20. From here they went to the Erie-Mason Eagles who scored the 21-12 victory over Columbia Central.
They suffered another blow out defeat when they hosted the Dundee Vikings. Big first and third quarters were the downfall as Dundee won 43-6.
Then last week, Columbia Central welcomed the Ida Bluestreaks. The Golden Eagles didn’t have quite the game they wanted as Ida ran away with it 46-26.
Hudson’s defense is going to have to stop the running game of Columbia Central. They have three backs they’d really like to use in Gregg, Conner and J.D. Taylor. Their quarterback Roonie Crist likes to run the ball as well, but he isn’t all that dangerous as a passer. The Golden Eagles will continue to pound it with these guys, in hopes to wear the defense down. The problem with their running game is that it isn’t that strong, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hudson limit what it can do.
The Tigers are going to want to do the same thing as what Columbia Central wants to do. They are going to pound it out on the ground and try to wear out their defense. Hudson’s offense is featuring 3 backs themselves in Shay McDaniel, JD Waters and Dan Komarynski. Their quarterback Alex Messer can run as well, but much like Crist, he isn’t that great in the passing game. We have two similar teams that want to do the same thing. It will come down to who can run the ball better and whose defense plays harder.
These two teams didn’t play last year, but that will change this now that Columbia Central has joined the Lenawee County Athletic Association. To decide this, I just looked at the numbers. Hudson’s offense is averaging 24.8 points per game while Columbia Central’s defense is giving up 29.5 per game. The Tigers’ defense is only giving up 17.9 points per game while the Golden Eagles are scoring 19 points per game. With that being said, my prediction is that Hudson wins 34-18.
This game will be played on Friday October 19th at 7:00 p.m. in Hudson, Michigan at Hudson High School.