GREEN — The Wadsworth football team didn’t waste any time sending a message Friday in its 42-6 Suburban League win over Green.
In a game with playoff implications, the Grizzlies expanded the playbook and threw a wrench in the Bulldogs’ defensive game plan.
With just about everyone in attendance expecting a handoff to Martice Jackson to start the game, the Grizzlies used play action to their featured running back to set up a 69-yard pass from quarterback Adam Dennison to receiver Austin White.
White was tripped up at the 1-yard line, but Dennison snuck in for the score on the next play to give Wadsworth (6-1, 3-1) an early lead. The two-play drive took 17 seconds.
“It was a great pass by Adam,” White said. “I was able to release and did a flag route for a big play.”
Dennison capitalized again from the fake handoff to hit fullback Shane Mast on a 28-yard seam pass for a score with 20 seconds left in the opening quarter. Just like his earlier pass to White, the play-action sucked in the defense to leave Mast wide open.
“We knew that they would be expecting us to run a lot,” Dennison said. “So we worked on play action and expected to get some big plays from it.”
It wasn’t only Wadsworth’s offense that was making big plays. Its defense completely shut down a Green offense that racked up more than 500 yards last week in a win over Cloverleaf.
The Grizzlies held the Bulldogs (4-3, 2-2) to 243 yards and talented quarterback John Davies to just 107 yards passing one week after he tied an SL record with 403 against the Colts.
With Green threatening early in the second quarter, Grizzlies linebacker Spencer Shelton returned a fumble by Everett Edwards 16 yards for a touchdown to put Wadsworth up three scores. Ryan Looser followed with a big interception later in the quarter to help maintain the lead.
Nick Winkler gave the Grizzlies’ defense its third takeaway with an interception in the third quarter.
“We knew that they put up some big numbers last week, so it was a challenge to us all week,” Wadsworth cornerback Scott Campbell said. “We all stepped up tonight. Big players made big plays.”
The 21-0 halftime lead allowed Wadsworth to focus on the run in the second half. Jackson saw a steady dose of handoffs and led the Grizzlies with 88 yards on 21 carries. Mast carried eight times for 48 yards, including an 8-yard score.
While Wadsworth didn’t rack up the big rushing totals it normally does, it kept both the clock moving and Green’s offense on the sideline.
“It was tough running the ball,” Wadsworth coach Gregg Dennison said. “Green has a tough defense to go along with a great offense, but our defense got some turnovers in key situations like we’ve been talking about.”
The Grizzlies’ lead grew to 28-0 after a 10-play, 52-yard drive was capped by another 1-yard sneak by Adam Dennison.
Green’s only score came against Wadsworth’s second unit with 1:15 left.
Contact Kenneth Coleman at email@example.com.
Wadsworth 42, Green 6
WADSWORTH 14 7 14 7 — 42
GREEN 0 0 0 6 — 6
W — Adam Dennison 1 run (Arthur Castro kick), 10:19.
W — Shane Mast 39 pass from Dennison (Castro kick), 0:20.
W — Spencer Shelton 16 fumble return (Castro kick), 11:56.
W — Dennison 1 run (Castro kick), 7:54.
W — Nate Bergan 5 pass from Dennison (Castro kick), 0:17.
W — Mast 8 run (Castro kick), 9:11.