MEDINA: It was Wadsworth’s signature play in a 26-13 victory Friday night over rival Medina at Kenneth Dukes Stadium.
Leading 9-6 with two minutes left in the first half and facing 4th-and-11 at the Medina 16, Wadsworth coach Greg Dennison had a hunch.
Go for it.
Even though senior kicker Aden Campbell booted a 30-yard field goal with plenty to spare just six minutes before, Dennison was thinking six.
“Going into the Suburban League, we want to score touchdowns,” he said.
Junior quarterback Adam Dennison threw a jump ball to the left front corner of the end zone and senior wide receiver Ryan Looser wrestled the ball away from two Medina defenders for a touchdown and a 16-6 halftime lead.
“I wanted it more, I guess,” said Looser, who also returned a kick 60 yards and had a key interception. “I saw it was under thrown a little, and said, ‘I’ve got to do something about this.’ ”
Looser’s clutch grab and fine all-around game coupled with senior running back Martice Jackson’s 34 carries for 264 yards and two touchdowns were too much for a Medina squad playing without its two starting inside linebackers.
“He took it right out of his hands,” Bees coach Dan Sutherland said. “That’s a 50-50 ball.
“You’ve got to make that play, and we didn’t make the play.”
The Grizzlies took the second-half kickoff and snapped the ball 17 times, driving 65 yards to the Medina 6 where they settled for Campbell’s second field goal — a 23-yarder — to make it 19-6.
Medina (1-2) then went three-and-out and Wadsworth marched 59 yards to the end zone, with Jackson covering the final 11 yards straight up the middle for a 26-6 lead with 11:18 remaining.
“We practiced all week stopping their lead fullback, and we couldn’t stop it,” Sutherland said. “They just took it to us. No. 11 [Jackson] is a heckuva back for them. We just couldn’t get off the field on defense. And offensively when we had opportunities, we just couldn’t punch it in.”
The Grizzlies dominated time of possession before Medina senior Jerry Klue scored on a 5-yard run with 7:47 left.
The Bees got the ball back with 4:56 to play, but Looser’s leaping interception put the game away for the Grizzlies.
“[Looser] is a great athlete,” Dennison said. “He can do so many things for us. He does a lot for us on both sides of the ball, and special teams.”
After slow starts in wins over Ashland and Wooster, Jackson got undefeated Wadsworth (3-0) off to a quick start, bolting 69 yards for a touchdown at 7:28 of the first quarter.
“It’s very humbling because I know my team is there with me and I couldn’t do it by myself,” Jackson said.
Adam Dennison completed 6-of-10 passes for 58 yards. Jackson had 120 yards on the ground in the first half and 144 in the second.
“Martice breaks away from people,” Dennison said. “He’s seeing things real well.”
The Bees answered on junior quarterback Collin Minor’s 7-yard screen to junior wide receiver Tim Jenkins that tied the score 6-6.
Klue finished with 88 rushing yards on six attempts.
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