The Wadsworth Grizzlies made it three victories in a row as they won the battle of Medina County, beating the Medina Bees 23-6 at Ken Dukes Stadium.
If you missed the opening kickoff, you missed one of the biggest plays of the game.
Medina’s Will Hiteshue kicked off to start the game. Wadsworth’s Jack Snowball grabbed it at the six yard line, went up the middle, veered to the right and found himself in the clear at the 30 yard line. Snowball put on the jets and aimed towards the right pylon. Snowball outran the defense and made it into the end zone for a 7-0 lead after just 17 seconds.
“We practiced that return throughout the week. The scout team kept kicking to us and we just made our blocks. It was great blocking by our up front wedge,” said Snowball. “It was the first time that I ever returned a kickoff for a touchdown.”
The next time Wadsworth got the ball, the offense did what they do best, run the football.
Eight rushing plays by the Grizzlies covered 76 yards. Quarterback Jon Kuss covered the last 28 yards on a sweep around left end and went into the end zone untouched. Before Medina knew what hit them they were down 13-0 eight minutes into the opening quarter.
Medina took the kickoff and Walter Bailey took it back to the Wadsworth 49 yard line. But, a holding penalty on Medina brought the football back to their 25 yard line.
That would be a common theme for Medina throughout the game. The Bees were whistled for eight penalties; seven flags were of the major variety and most came at critical times of the game.
The Wadsworth defense forced Medina into a three-and-out and marched down the field again. The 10-play, 51-yard drive stalled out at the 7 yard line. Luis Escudero kicked a 24-yard field goal to give the Grizzlies a 16-0 lead in the early part of the second quarter.
Medina had a chance to get on the scoreboard before halftime. A 55-yard pass by senior quarterback Mason Schreck to Bailey set Medina up at the Wadsworth one-yard line.
But, Medina couldn’t get into the end zone. Laterian Brown was stopped for no gain; Schreck lost four yards on a quarterback sweep. On third down, Brown was stopped for no gain. On fourth down, Schreck hit senior tight end Kenny Kaminski with a swing pass. The Wadsworth defense tackled Kaminski at the 5 yard line ending the Bees threat.
In the second half, Wadsworth erased any doubt on who would win. On their second possession of the half, Wadsworth took advantage of a short field. They started the drive at the Medina 34 following a facemask penalty on the Bees. Nick Miller scored a TD on an off-tackle play to give the Grizzlies a 23-0 lead.
Medina scored early in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run by Brown to complete a 12-play, 71 yard drive. Following the TD, Medina tried an onsides kick, but Wadsworth recovered.
Wadsworth head coach Greg Dennison knew it was going to be a tough game. “We knew they were going to be good. We’re just happy to get out of here with a win.”
Snowball carried the ball 29 times for 153 yards. Jon Kuss had 14 rushing attempts for 81 yards. Kuss completed 2 of 3 passes for 27 yards. Tight end Nick Seme caught both passes.