by Rob Barrone | Correspondent
Hudson -- Solon supremacy?
The Hudson football team improved to 7-0 overall and 2-0 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division after posting a commanding 42-14 victory over the Comets Oct. 12 at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
Solon entered the game with a 12-4 all-time mark against the Explorers.
The Comets (4-3, 1-1) had won the last six meetings with Hudson.
The Explorers struck early and often, dominating play on both sides of the ball.
Who was Solon's biggest headache?
None other than talented junior quarterback Mitch Guadagni, who had five touchdowns and passed for 243 yards and ran for 106 more.
"We haven't beaten them since 2004 [a 10-0 win at Lavelli Field] and we knew that coming in," Guadagni said. "It was a huge game for us. It was a great game plan from our coaches and just an all-around great effort by our seniors."
Hudson's 42 points was its highest total in school history.
The Explorers earned a 41-0 win over Solon in 1945.
"It feels great, in any game, to have this kind of offensive production," Hudson offensive coordinator and former Solon assistant Sean Surdy said. "The kids truly believed in the game plan and executed the game plan. They really had my back.
"This was not easy for me. It's not easy to have pride at one school and coach there for 10 years. But I love it here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
"It's not easy because I have taught every single one of those kids [the Comet players] and I worked with every single one of those guys on the other staff."
Hudson head coach Ron Wright also was pleased to beat Solon in his first try as the head coach.
As an assistant coach for the Explorers from 2004 to 2010, Wright saw Hudson lose of six of seven contests to the Comets.
"We have had some really good games with them and we've had some not so good games with them," he said. "You can almost tell how the season is going to be by how we do against Solon.
Solon is the standard which I set because they have been so good. The kids have gotten better and better. That was a great win."
The Explorers got off to a quick start with 21 points in the first quarter and 35 by halftime.
Hudson got its first score, thanks to in part to its defense.
Senior defensive back John Zuccaro intercepted Solon quarterback Ryan Gallagher's pass deep in the Comets' territory. It was Zuccaro's six interception of the season and 14th of his career.
Two plays later, Guadagni completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Colton Whited. Pierce Royster added the first of his six extra points to give the Explorers a 7-0 lead with 7 minute, 35 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Hudson's advantage lasted 14 seconds.
That's because Kollyn Crenshaw returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards down the Solon sideline to knot the score at 7-7.
Signs pointed to a barnburner when the Explorers countered with a nine-play, 68-yard scoring march and Solon answered with another long kick return.
Senior running back Ben Hart's 1-yard plunge capped Hudson's drive and made the score 14-7.
The Explorers took control from there.
Whited recovered a fumble and Guadagni completed a 78-yard TD pass to senior running back Jared Ruffing.
It appeared the Ruffing was only going to get a short gain.
But he made it a highlight play when he juked past one defender, slipped another tackle and was free in the secondary.
With Crenshaw in hot pursuit, the Hudson co-captain won the race going 78 yards for the score and a 21-7 lead with 42 seconds left in the first quarter.
"That was a great run," Wright said. "They hit him a couple times. Ruff found it and took off."
In the second quarter, Zuccaro recovered a fumble and the Explorers' explosive offense went to work again.
Guadagni completed a 39-yard TD pass to Whited for a 28-7 lead. Whited finished with five receptions for 144 yards.
Guadagni made it 35-7 at halftime when he scored on a 44-yard run off a quarterback draw.
Guadagni and Whited added one final highlight play in the second half.
Guadagni lofted a perfect strike to Whited and Whited did the rest for a 68-yard score and a 42-7 lead with 49 seconds left in the third quarter.
The pass was Guadagni's last of the game and his fourth TD pass of the night. Only three other Hudson quarterbacks have thrown for four scores in a game. Guadagni has done it three times.
"Mitch is a special player and as junior, he has another year and a half to keep going," Wright said. "Mitch has matured as the year has gone on. He feels really good inside his skin right now. I think he's going to get better."
Guadagni didn't forget about his linemen.
"My line gave me a ton of time," he said. "I was just really proud of everyone."
The Explorers are scheduled to visit Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division rival Strongsville Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.