2018 Iowa High School Football Playoffs

When the game was on the line, Hudson made a defensive stop and booked a return trip to the Class A state championship game.

The Pirates held off a late rally by West Hancock of Britt and went on to defeat the Eagles, 35-28, in the semifinals of the Iowa High School football playoffs at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls on Friday (Nov. 9, 2018).

Having rallied from a 35-14 halftime lead, West Hancock was facing a 4th-and-1 at Hudson's 5-yard-line with two-minutes, 15-seconds remaining when the Pirates' defense rose to the occasion. A Hudson defender ripped the ball away from the Eagles' runner and recovered the fumble, which allowed the Pirates to run out the clock.

The play capped a wild game that Hudson took control of early. The Pirates jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead and and owned a 21-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Hudson expanded the margin to 31-14 at halftime, but West Hancock tallied 14 points in the third quarter to set the stage for the dramatic ending.

The momentum switched quickly at the start of the third quarter. Josef Smith cut the Pirates' lead to 31-20 when he returned the second half kick-off 74 yards for a touchdown.

During the game, the Pirates recovered four fumbles and intercepted one pass on the day. They ended the game with a 436- to 346-yard edge in total offense.

Christian Seres rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries for Hudson, while quarterback Jacob Murray completed 15-of-18 passes for 268 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

West Hancock completed its season at 9-3. Hudson improved to 11-0.

The Pirates are headed to the Class A state championship for the second consecutive year.