Thomson Fullback LaBrandon Hudson broke free for touchdown runs of 64, 80 and 11 yards to help the black and gold Bulldogs to a 25-0 win in Harlem Friday night. Long runs weren't the only things Hudson broke.
On Thomson's second play from scrimmage, Hudson was stopped for no gain, and a helmet caused a small fracture in the middle finger of his right hand. He kept playing and finished the game with 203 yards on 12 carries.
"That's pretty good," Thomson coach Luther Welsh. "He's a little tough."
On his third carry - the first play of Thomson's second drive - Hudson found his way to the left sideline for 64 yards and a touchdown. He did it again on the first play of Thomson's second drive in the second quarter when he sprinted past defenders from his own 20.
"It's just the offensive line," Hudson said. "They are just giving me big holes, and I'm just picking my way through them and making good runs. But I can't put it on myself. You know it's the offensive line. Without a good offensive line, you can't have a good back."
Players commented that the field drained well despite all the rain. But the water had an impact. Neither team completed a pass in the game.
"When it's wet, then it's just too slippery (to throw), and if we can move it on the ground and run the clock, we're better off doing that," Coach Welsh said.
Thomson (8-0, 3-0 Region 3B-AAA) scored twice in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Hudson's 11-yard touchdown came with 10:09 remaining.
Kwynta "D.T." Brown scored Thomson's last touchdown on a 44-yard run with 5:56 left in the game.
Harlem (2-6, 1-2) missed on three scoring opportunities in the first half, including field goal chances of 47 and 31 yards. Harlem also lost a fumble on a Brendan Gray pitch attempt at Thomson's 10-yard line with 1:00 left before halftime.
Harlem ended up with 259 yards of offense, but Thomson's defense held the red and black Bulldogs to nothing where it mattered. It was fitting that the shutout was Thomson's third in a row because it was Defensive Coordinator John Barnett's 200th win as an assistant coach. It was Coach Barnett's 59th career shutout, according to thomsonfootball.com.
"That means you've been around some good football players, some good teams," Coach Welsh said of Coach Barnett's milestone. "You don't get those W's unless you have people who can block, tackle and run and catch a ball once in a while."
Tomorrow, Thomson plays host to Cross Creek (4-4, 1-2) for the final regular season game in The Brickyard. The Razorbacks lost 6-0 to Glenn Hills last week and beat Butler 54-0 the week before.
"They're going to throw the football," Coach Welsh said of Cross Creek. "They've got a couple of receivers with some height."
But whatever the Bulldogs do on offense against Cross Creek, they will have to do it without their star fullback. Coach Welsh said Hudson's hand needs a week to heal, according to the doctor's wishes. Hudson will be back against Washington County for the final game of the regular season.
Thomson 25, Harlem 0
Star of the game: LaBrandon Hudson rushed for 203 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries after breaking a bone in his hand on Thomson's second offensive play.
Play of the game: With 4:46 left in the second quarter LaBrandon Hudson ran the ball 80 yards to put Thomson up 13-0.
Up next: Thomson (8-0, 3-0) plays host to Cross Creek (4-4, 1-2).