MACEDONIA — All running back Jason Suggs could do after Friday night’s win at Nordonia was smile.
The senior had every right to grin from ear-to-ear after helping Medina crush the Knights 55-21 in a Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division tilt.
Suggs rushed for 266 yards on 23 carries to sur-pass the 1,000-yard plateau for the season and reached the end zone four times as the Bees improved to 6-1, 1-1. It was the most yards by a Medina player since Tom Sency had 269 against Cop-ley in 1986.
So forgive the 5-foot-10, 179-pound back for showing a little emotion.
“It feels great,” Suggs said. “The line got all their blocks and I just tried to hit them as fast as I could.”
That speed was on dis-play as he rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns in the first two quarters to help Medina take a 28-14 lead into halftime.
Suggs capped his night with a season-best 79-yard TD scamper to open the fourth quarter as the Bees bounced back from the first loss of the Larry Laird era a week ago against Strongs-ville (34-14).
“He’s one of those guys that he has the ability to take it the distance any time,” Laird said. “He’s a different kind of tailback because he’s not afraid to put his head down and get that hard yard. But he’s also great at giving a great burst and he’s pretty shifty.”
Suggs, who also had a sack on defense, knew after seeing the Knights (2-5, 0-2) on film that he was going to have to go hard if the Bees were going to leave with a victory.
“We knew coming in that Nordonia was really fast and our goal was to get to the line and just get to the holes as fast as possible,” he said. “It just feels great.”
While Suggs carried much of the load on the ground, the air attack of quarterback Mason Schreck and wideout Walter Bailey was something Bees fans were also smiling about.
Bailey, who came into the night with just 165 receiving yards, caught three passes for 127 yards, including a 57-yard play-action bomb from Schreck (4-for-10, 134 yards) on the second play of the second quarter.
Combine that with a fin-ger-tip grab on the Bees’ opening drive that went for 41 yards and one for 29 that the 5-8 junior caught with outstretched hands before halftime and it was far from a one-man show.
“Walter made a couple of real great catches for us, but with that being said, Mason put the ball where it needed to be,” Laird said. “Last week we didn’t finish drives, but this week I thought we did a really good job with finishing some drives. Jason had a real good night for us, I thought Mason threw the ball real well tonight and Walter Bailey came up big with some big catches for us.”
Schreck scored from a yard out with 6:35 left in regulation and backup running back Emerson Buckland also found the end zone late in the game.
The Bees had 505 yards total offense to the Knights’ 260.
“This is Week 7 and after practicing every day the same plays, you start to get in a groove,” Suggs said. “You know when to cut, when to hit the holes and the line is blocking fantas-tic.
“(The balance) just makes our team more dy-namic. At the beginning of the season, it seemed like it was just run, run, run. Now, the run is opening up the pass and you saw that.”
Contact Dan Brown at email@example.com. Medina 55, Nordonia 21
MEDINA 14 14 7 20 — 55
NORDONIA 7 7 0 7 — 21
N — Donnie Eatmon 10 run (Justin Politi kick), 7:37.
M — Jason Suggs 2 run (Nick Bavaro kick), 5:33.
M — Suggs 75 run (Bavaro kick), 1:38.
M — Walter Bailey 57 pass from Mason Schreck (Bavaro kick), 11:42.
M — Suggs 5 run (Bavaro kick), 0:41.
N — Brandynn Clark 79 kickoff return (Politi kick), 0:30.
M — Laterian Brown 3 run (Bavaro kick), 1:56.
M — Suggs 79 run (kick failed), 11:38.
N — Eatmon 29 run (Politi kick), 8:22.
M — Schreck 1 run (Bavaro kick), 6:35.
M — Emerson Buckland 7 run (Bavaro kick), 4:43.
Suggs carries Bees to win