Former St. Al kicker Hudson wins car in Atwood contest

Published 9:15 am Monday, October 26, 2015

It’s only been two years since Blake Hudson was kicking game-winning field goals in the playoffs for St. Aloysius.

Considering that, lining up to make one to win a car was a piece of cake.

Hudson won a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze from Atwood Chevrolet on Friday night in its Punt, Pass and Kick Contest following St. Al’s home football game against Riverfield Academy. Starting at the back of one end zone, Hudson had to punt and then throw a football as far as he could before making a field goal.

Former St. Aloysius kicker Blake Hudson won a 2016 Chevy Cruze from Atwood Chevrolet in the car dealership’s Punt, Pass and Kick Contest Friday at St. Aloysius High School.

Blake Hudson

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Hudson booted the punt about 50 yards and threw it to about the 10-yard line, where he easily made a 25-yard field goal to win the car.

“Just to get the chance was unbelievable, and I guess incredibly lucky,” Hudson said. “I hadn’t kicked in a year or two, but I still felt like I had a chance given that I had kicked before. When I got out there and hit that first punt, I felt like I had a really good chance.”

Hudson, a 2014 graduate of St. Al who is now in his sophomore year at LSU, certainly had at least a puncher’s chance of winning. He went 12-for-12 on field goal attempts and 35-for-39 on PAT tries, and hit two game-winning field goals in the playoffs for St. Al in his senior season. He also averaged more than 34.2 yards per punt.

He hasn’t played football since then, but has kept his leg in shape by playing intramural and pick-up soccer at LSU. He also had a secret weapon — a surprisingly good arm for someone who didn’t even play on offense in high school.

“We used to have contests in high school to see who could throw the farthest, and I’d do all right in those,” Hudson said.

The hard part, he added, was the punt. Getting off a good one was essential to put himself in position to have a good throw and then a makeable field goal. Hudson bombed the football nearly 50 yards, then uncorked a 45-yard pass.

“I knew if I could get it within 40 yards I had a good shot at the field goal. I knew I could throw it 40 or 45 yards. It was all about that punt, and not shanking it,” he said.

After his excellent punt and pass, Hudson was left with a chip shot field goal that he knocked through with ease. He said that pressure was nothing compared with what he faced during his high school football career.

“You would think it would be the opposite, but it was much more nerve-wracking on the field in a game. There was no hold or snap to worry about, and no rush, so it was just like kicking in practice,” he said.

After he made the field goal, Hudson didn’t quite drive away a winner. He’ll receive his new car at Atwood later this week. He also said he doesn’t plan to keep it. He has an old jeep that still runs well, he said, and selling the car will help him more than getting a new one.

The 2016 Chevy Cruze sedan has a sticker price of about $20,000.

“I’m going to sell it. Get a little bit of money and help pay for some things,” the 20-year-old Hudson said. “I have a jeep that I’ve had since I turned 15 and first started driving. There’s no need for a new car yet.”

The Atwood contest offered fans of all four Warren County high schools the same chance Hudson had. They can enter by texting the word “Punt” to 95577, and one finalist will be selected to attempt the feat at the final regular-season home game for Porters Chapel, St. Aloysius, Warren Central and Vicksburg.

Former Porters Chapel football player Cole Smith was selected and failed in his attempt at halftime of last Friday’s game against Amite School Center.

Warren Central’s last home game is this Friday night against Starkville, and Vicksburg’s is Nov. 6 against Holmes County Central.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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