by Rob Barrone | Correspondent
Hudson -- Where there's a will, there's a way.
If that's how it works, then the Hudson football team has some serious willpower.
The Explorers spent nearly the entire night playing catch-up or watching a possible home contest victory over Brecksville-Broadview Heights seemingly ready to slip away Sept. 13 at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
Having never led through regulation and most of the game's two overtimes, the Explorers took the lead when it counted the most.
That would be the game's final snap.
Hudson scored on a trick two-point play at the end of the second overtime to will its way to a 15-14 win over the stunned Bees.
"We hung in there and hung in there with them," Explorers' head coach Ron Wright said. "Let's give them [the Bees] a lot of credit. They are a good football team. Our kids played and fought."
Hudson quarterback Mitch Guadagni, who finished with 74 yards on 16 carries, cut Brecksville's lead to 14-13 with a 12-yard touchdown run.
At that point, the Explorers decided to go do or die and try for two.
Hudson (3-0) quickly lined up to go for two and the Bees called time-out.
There was one problem. They didn't have any time-outs left.
After the half-the-distance mark-off penalty, the Explorers decided to change their strategy.
Guadagni moved to the right side and pretended to be checking off the play. Dean Miller, Hudson's tailback, took the direct snap and then handed to senior running back Jared Ruffing in reverse.
Ruffing did the rest as he raced into the end zone untouched
"It's called the three-point play," Ruffing said. "I ran a fake screen and came back around on the reverse. I saw green grass in front of me and I wasn't stopping there."
So why did Hudson make such a bold call.
"The decision to go for two went back to a conversation we had at the end of regulation," Explorers' offensive coordinator Sean Surdy said. "After having a field goal blocked [in the first overtime] and having a play we believe in our back pocket -- the decision was easy."
It was ironic that the Bees went down to defeat on a two-point conversion and on a play called the three-point-play.
Tom Tupa, the father of Brecksville quarterback Tim Tupa, scored three two-point plays for the Browns in the first year that two-point plays were allowed in the NFL. For that, he was nicknamed "two-point Tupa."
The tone for the night was set on the game's opening possession.
The Bees (2-1) went on a 20-play drive that went 79 yards. But the drive came to a halt as the Explorers made a crucial goal-line stand for the second consecutive week.
Hudson stopped receiver Nick Shirilla about two inches from the end zone on fourth down.
The Explorers played bend-but-don't-break defense all night as they allowed only a Tupa quarterback sneak from one yard away with 3:14 left in the first half.
Hudson answered with a Guadagni to John Zuccaro five-yard scoring pass just four minutes into the second half. Kicker Pierce Royster added the extra point to tie the game at seven. From there, the game featured plenty of excitement leading to that second overtime two-pointer.
Brecksville took a 14-7 lead as Tupa found Jay Rose with a five-yard touchdown pass. Tupa added the extra point.
After the goal-line stand to start the game, the Explorers took just 15 snaps in the first half and only two of those outside their own 30-yard line.
The Bees moved toward Hudson's 27 with 1:07 left in regulation, thanks to an interception. But Brecksville gave the ball right back when Matt Rightnour recovered a fumble just four seconds later.
In the first overtime, Royster's 35-yard field goal attempt for the lead was blocked.
On the next possession, the Bees got to the Explorers' one and needed a chip-shot field goal for the win.
But a high snap and Hudson's rush forced a wide-left attempt.
The Explorers are scheduled to visit Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division rival Brunswick Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.