AHSTW senior Drake Partridge holds up the Vikings’ Class A state runner-up trophy. Also pictured are Viking junior Brady Canada (left) and senior Brayton Tuma. AHSTW football players, coaches and cheerleaders pose for a team photo with the Vikings’ Class A state runner-up trophy following Thursday’s 30-7 loss to Hudson in the state championship game at the UNI-Dome. AHSTW, appearing in its first title game since 1991, finished the season 12-1 overall. (Photos by Mike Oeffner) AHSTW senior Seth Kiesel (50) is comforted by junior Lucas Young during Thursday’s postgame ceremony as junior Joey Goins also waits for the Vikings to receive their trophy. Viking senior running back Gabe Pauley (34) brushes aside a Hudson defensive player during Thursday’s second half. Pauley rushed for 46 yards on the day. AHSTW senior Ben Ehlers (center) makes a diving attempt to block a successful PAT kick by Hudson’s Austin Appleton (36) during the third quarter of Thursday’s state championship game. AHSTW quarterback Blake Osbahr (left) beats Hudson’s Christian Seres to the pylon to score the Vikings’ only touchdown of the the Class A state championship game. Viking seniors Korbin Martin (15), Brayton Tuma and Drake Partridge (28) combine to tackle a Hudson player as Gabe Pauley (34) looks on.

Pirates plunder Viking state title dreams

Top-ranked Hudson outplays No. 2 AHSTW, wins 30-7 in Class A state championship game

 CEDAR FALLS (Nov. 15) -- AHSTW’s magical run to championship weekend fell one win short of its ultimate goal Thursday afternoon, stopped by a Hudson team on a mission.
 The top-ranked Pirates were just a little bit better in a multitude of ways against the second-ranked Vikings, using an efficient offense and disruptive defense to win 30-7 in the Class A football state title game at the UNI-Dome.
 Elusive senior running back Christian Seres rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns for Hudson, which led 13-0 at halftime and went up 30-0 with 7:57 left in the game. The Pirates wrapped up a 13-0 season after falling to West Sioux (this year’s 1A champion) in the 2017 Class A final, claiming their third state title in school history and the first since 1994.
 AHSTW, which showed a lot of late-season grit in winning a district title and advancing to its first state championship game in 27 years, finished 12-1 overall.
 The Vikings overcame 14-0 halftime deficits to beat St. Albert in Week 9 and Alta-Aurelia in a triple-overtime first-round playoff game, then scored decisive wins over Newman Catholic and Edgewood-Colesburg to reach the title game.
 “There’s no words that can describe the brotherhood that we have, that we’ve been building these past four years in our grade and the grade below us,” said AHSTW senior Drake Partridge. "We had the opportunity to win a championship but [did not]. It doesn’t matter. I love my boys and I wouldn’t want to finish any other way.”
 Viking senior Brayton Tuma added: “We’re not champions, but you can’t take away what we did. We had a heck of a run as a team. These are my brothers. We had to come together and we did. We just couldn’t get the job done today.”
 Two statistics played a big determining role in the final outcome. Hudson converted 10 out of 13 times on third down while the Vikings were just 2-of-11 on third down (and 3-of-4 on fourth), often operating behind the chains due to penalties or sacks. The penalty disparity was also quite large. AHSTW was flagged 11 times for 111 yards, including a couple of personal foul infractions on Hudson’s final drive, while the Pirates had just three penalties for 15 yards.
 Field position was a key as well. The Vikings started all eight drives inside their own 30 while the Pirates opened three drives in Viking territory and three others beyond their own 40.
 Hudson outgained AHSTW by only 56 yards overall, 316-260.

Hudson 30, AHSTW 7
Hudson: Christian Seres 8-yd. run (kick failed) - 1st qt., 6:52.
Hudson: Jacob Murray 10-yd. run (Austin Appleton kick) - 2nd qt., 1:05.
Hudson: Appleton 32-yd. FG - 3rd qt., 6:55.
Hudson: Seres 20-yd. run (Appleton kick) - 3rd qt., 2:27.
Hudson: Murray 2-yd. run (Appleton kick) - 4th qt., 7:57.
AHSTW: Blake Osbahr 6-yd. run (Kyle Branan kick) - 4th qt., 3:57.
AHSTW Individual Stat Leaders:
    Rushing -- Gabe Pauley 10-46, Blake Osbahr 10-22. Passing -- Osbahr 14-27-1, 198. Receiving -- Drake Partridge 6-85, Brayton Tuma 3-54, G. Pauley 2-26, Korbin Martin 2-25, Ben Ehlers 1-8.
 Tackles -- G. Pauley 14 (10s/4a), Partridge 10 (8s/2a), Caden Larson 5 (4s/1a), Tuma 5 (4s/1a), Jackson Woltmann 4 (4s), Leland Barr 4 (3s/1a), Zach Stanton 4 (2s/2a). Tackles for loss -- Gabe Madsen 1.5, Larson 1, Partridge 1, G. Pauley 0.5. Pass Breakups -- Partridge 2.
Hudson Individual Stat Leaders:
    Rushing -- Christian Seres 32-161, Ethan Fulcher 5-24, Jacob Murray 5-17. Passing -- Murray 10-16-0, 116. Receiving -- Alec Staebell 4-55, Fulcher 4-42.
 Tackles -- Fulcher 8 (7s/1a), Aiden Zook 8 (7s/1a). Tackles for loss -- Fulcher 5. INT-return yds. -- Zook 1-20.

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