GREEN: Playing on the road and in a game with major Suburban League and Division I playoff implications, Wadsworth took care of business and more in a 42-6 thrashing of Green on Friday night.
Wadsworth, known as a run-first team, took advantage of Green targeting the running game early and went over the top with two nice throws by junior quarterback Adam Dennison. On the first offensive play from scrimmage, Dennison found junior wide receiver Austin White wide open behind the Bulldogs’ secondary for a 69-yard play that took it all the way to Green’s 1-yard line. On the next play, Dennison dived into the end zone on a quarterback sneak for a two-play, 17-second drive to make it 7-0.
On the first play of the second quarter, Dennison hit junior Shane Mast for a 39-yard touchdown after a well- executed, play-action fake drew Green’s safeties toward the line of scrimmage.
“[The run and pass game] build off each other,” Wadsworth coach Greg Dennison said. “We’re a running team and they put a lot of guys in the box to key in on the run. It opened up some things in the passing game, and we took advantage of it with some nice throws and catches.”
Two plays later, a backward pass and fumble by Green was scooped up by Wadsworth senior linebacker Spencer Shelton and returned 20 yards for a touchdown, making it 21-0.
Green put together two quality drives in the first half but couldn’t convert either into points. The Bulldogs drove to Wadsworth’s 10-yard line in the first quarter but a fourth-and-3 pass into the end zone fell incomplete. Later, Wadsworth senior defensive back Ryan Looser came away with an interception at his own 10-yard line.
“Our defense has been playing like that for three weeks now,” Dennison said. “We don’t really have a superstar, everyone just does their job and everybody plays with great effort. That’s a huge part of where we are now.”
Wadsworth put the game away in the third quarter. On the Grizzlies’ first drive of the half, facing a fourth-and-5 at the 30-yard line, senior Scott Campbell took a screen pass 22 yards that set up Dennison’s second 1-yard touchdown sneak of the night.
Late in the third quarter, Dennison, who finished the game with 139 yards passing, two touchdowns through the air and two touchdowns on the ground, struck again. He found junior tight end Nate Bergan from 5 yards out for a touchdown to go ahead 35-0. Mast (48 yards rushing) later added an 8-yard touchdown to push the Grizzlies’ lead to 42-0.
Wadsworth (6-1, 3-1) and Green (4-3, 2-2) each entered the game with one loss in the Suburban League and were chasing the unbeaten teams in the league, Nordonia and Highland, which both won Friday night. The Grizzlies (No. 13) and Bulldogs (No. 16) also entered the game just inside of the Division I, Region I playoff picture (the top 16 schools make it into postseason play).
“It’s a big win for us,” Dennison said. “We knew we were gonna have to do a lot of things well coming here.”
Senior Martice Jackson rushed for 104 yards on 20 carries.
The Grizzlies lost to Highland 24-23 earlier in the season and will travel to Nordonia in Week 10. There isn’t much separating Wadsworth from the league leaders.
Green coach Ed Cybak was perplexed at the outcome.
“As a staff, we really tried to figure it out and see why that was. We’re still a little baffled,” Cybak said. “We didn’t do many things well on either side of the ball. We practiced pretty well during the week. We just didn’t bring that to the field.”