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Hawks survive scare.

Byline: Henry Schwan

HUDSON -- It looked as though it was going to be easy for Hudson High against visiting Westboro. The Hawks scored on their first drive and appeared on their way to their third win in as many games.

But mistakes almost derailed the high-flying Hawks, who held on Friday night for a 28-27 Mid-Wach B victory.

All that separated the teams was a missed extra point after Michael Heffernan's touchdown run that cut Hudson's lead to one with 4:42 left.

Jack Chuma lined up for the kick, but the snap sailed high. Chuma was forced to run for his life, and after eluding several tackles, he lofted a pass to the far corner of the end zone that fell incomplete.

"I couldn't be happier,'' said Westboro coach Mark Ellis, whose team is 0-3, 0-2 in the league. "We took a great team like that. We were going for the tie at the end. We bobbled the snap. We came up short, but I'm so proud of my guys.''

Relieved Hudson coach Dan McAnespie summed it up after his team committed three turnovers, two of which led to Westboro touchdowns.

"We're not crazy about the penalties and the turnovers,'' McAnespie said. "We escaped tonight, no doubt about it.''

The biggest turnover for Hudson (3-0, 2-0) was Dan Bothwell's fumble in the fourth quarter that Kevin Sanders picked up and ran back 99 yards for a touchdown.

On fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Bothwell took a handoff from quarterback Dan Mendes and coughed it up.

Instead of scoring a touchdown that would have given the Hawks a fourth-quarter cushion, Sanders was off to the races for a touchdown that tied the game, 21-21, with 9:21 remaining.

"I thought that we're in a game right now, but we need to stick to the plan,'' McAnespie said when asked what he was thinking after Sanders took it to the house.

Hudson's plan was to give the ball to the Dan duo -- Bothwell and Mendes.

The pair combined on a four-play, 62-yard drive. Bothwell started it with a 24-yard run and Mendes finished it with a 10-yard touchdown run. Mendes added the extra point to give Hudson a 28-21 lead with 7:12 remaining.

Clinging to that lead, Hudson needed one last drive to run out the clock.

Bothwell's run picked up one first down and Mendes' scamper on third down put the game away with 1:34 left.

Mendes opened the scoring with a touchdown on fourth-and-goal in the first quarter to give Hudson a 7-0 lead.

After a Mendes interception, Heffernan ran it in from a yard to make it 7-6 in the second quarter.

Bothwell completed his first of two touchdowns runs from 3 yards to give Hudson a 14-6 advantage with 6:04 left in the first half.

With 30 seconds left, Orlando connected with Mike Power on a 10-yard touchdown pass. Orlando found Michael Gallo for the 2-point conversion to tie the score at 14.

Contact Henry Schwan

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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Schwan, Henry
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Sep 28, 2013
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