WADSWORTH — For the second straight week, Wadsworth’s football team faced an opponent with a myriad of deceptive plays and spread formations.
And for the second straight week, the Grizzlies made the proper defensive adjustments. Friday’s result was a 14-13 non-league win over Wooster.
Wadsworth (2-0) fell behind in the second quarter, as Generals quarterback Cameron Daugherty picked apart the secondary to the tune of 128 yards on 11-for-14 passing. The Generals had eight players touch the ball in the first half, which kept Wadsworth off-balance.
“We struggled in the early part of the game,” Grizzlies coach Greg Dennison said. “We just weren’t getting enough pressure on the quarterback.”
While neither team could get its offense moving in a scoreless first quarter, the Generals thought they had the momentum when Daugherty’s punt pinned the Grizzlies at their own 5-yard line. Wadsworth reeled off a sustained drive of 65 yards before a Scott Campbell fumble stalled their efforts at Wooster’s 35.
That momentum shift was huge, as the Generals immediately responded with a five-play drive that resulted in a 31-yard Brian Crum field goal.
Things got worse, as Wadsworth’s next possession was a three-and-out, giving the Generals one more chance to score before halftime. Daugherty (13-for-33, 147 yards) hit Chandler Dawson on a 68-yard fly pattern down to the Grizzlies 4.
Wadsworth’s defense rose to the occasion with a brilliant stand, only to be wiped out by a running into the kicker penalty on Wooster’s field goal attempt. One play later, with 28 seconds left in the half, Daugherty hit Marquise Blair for a 2-yard touchdown.
“We knew we had to step up our game,” Wadsworth linebacker Nick Winkler said. “We didn’t make too many adjustments at half; we just had to execute better.”
Execute the Grizzlies did, as the defense changed the complexion of the game by putting extra pressure on Daugherty, who was 2-for-19 in the second half.
On offense, the Grizzlies stuck to their tried and true running game. Martice Jackson had 39 carries for 224 yards, including a touchdown that got the Grizzlies on the board with 2:04 left in the third quarter. That drive covered 12 plays, 84 yards and ate 5:19 off the clock.
Jackson earned his score as he made a beautiful spin move out of a tackler’s grip and raced 15 yards to the end zone.
“My linemen worked hard all day,” he said. “I was just happy that we were able to pull it together on that drive.”
The Grizzlies put together another drive that resulted in Shane Mast’s 4-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter. Aden Campbell’s extra point put Wadsworth up 14-13.
The game featured a solid Wadsworth running attack, but a sloppy display of most other facets. The Grizzlies threw an interception and lost three fumbles while committing 11 penalties for 97 yards.
“We are very fortunate to walk away with this victory,” Dennison said. “We definitely have a lot to work on as we approach a tough Medina team next week and our Suburban League schedule after that.”
Contact Richard Doyle at email@example.com.
Wadsworth 14, Wooster 13
WADSWORTH 0 0 7 7 — 14
WOOSTER 0 10 0 3 — 13
Wo — Brian Crum 31 yard field goal, 6:43.
Wo — Marquise Blair 2 yard pass from Cameron Daugherty (Brian Crum kick), 0:28.
Wa — Martice Jackson 15 yard run (Aden Campbell kick), 2:04.
Wa — Shane Mast 4 yard run (Aden Campbell kick), 11:54.
Wo — Brian Crum 23 yard field goal, 9:59.