Hudson showed its class and strength, overpowering Beal City to clinch the Division 8 title with a 14-7 victory at Ford Field.
Nick Kopin ran for two touchdowns and forced a key fourth-quarter fumble. The senior running back finished with 131 yards on 25 carries, while leading the Tigers with six tackles (one tackle for loss) and two pass break-ups.
It was their first state championship since 2010 for the Tigers. The Tigers (14-0) owned better field possession throughout the second half.
Beal City put up a good show as they had only allowed 70 points all season before the final.
“Their defense was very solid — the second-best in D-8 — they were only giving up about 8 points (per game) coming into this and we knew defensively they were very tough,” Kopin, who had a game-high 131 rushing yards on 25 attempts, was quoted as saying in Detroit Free Press.
“Coach (Jeremy) Beal was on our backs, telling us we needed to run hard, run downhill the whole time, just keep going and keep going. I think that’s what we did,” he said.
Beal City defense rose splendidly and thwarted three good chances for Hudson to take an 8-7 lead in the third quarter.
Hudson took its first lead, 8-7 just before the end of the first half.
“Field position was big. We had some big turnovers; Bronson had a nice pick for us. Defensively, it was a matter of just trying to not give up the big play, and make them earn every score,” Hudson coach Dan Rogers said. “Two great teams, and that’s what a state finals should be. Hat’s off to Beal City — that’s a mirror image of us — tough kids, and it was a great football game,” he added.
Beal City finished with 183 yards of total offense and went 0 of 9 on third downs against Hudson defense.