Wadsworth's Joey Baughman (3) carries the ball out of the tackles of Wooster's Elijah Hall (2) and Garrett Knapid (55) in the first quarter of Friday's game at Art Wright Stadium in Wadsworth. (NICK CAMMETT/GAZETTE)
WADSWORTH — Call Brett Randolph “The Tone-Setter” and Joey Baughman “The Finisher.”
With two outstretched hands, Randolph turned what was an anticipated non-league game into a laugher as the Wadsworth football team steamrolled Wooster 47-0 Friday night at Art Wright Stadium.
“I was calling it all week that it was going to be a blowout,” said Baughman, who had a hand in four of the seven touchdowns. “We prepared very well all week, and I knew we were ready for this. I wasn’t caught off guard at all.”
The preparation showed four plays into the game, as the Grizzlies (2-0) forced a three-and-out and Randolph did his thing. The 5-foot-9, 154-pound defensive back sprinted through a gap in the line created by Mason McMillen and Joey Fernholz and knocked away a punt attempt by Jack Nell.
To make matters worse for the Generals (0-2), the speedy Randolph sprinted to and dove on the loose ball before it trickled out of the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
“Coach (Justin) Todd was saying all week in practice that anyone who can block a punt has an 80 percent chance to win the game,” Randolph said. “We saw on film that they don’t like to block that guy, and I just happened to be that guy. I just snuck in there and blocked it.
“I was tired (after the block), but at that moment, your adrenaline is going and you can almost do anything.”
Wadsworth fired on all cylinders, as Baughman found Christian Szalay (4 catches, 83 yards) from 32 yards and fired a laser to Grant Martinez, who made three defenders miss on his way to a 51-yard score.
“They were just tired and we kept going,” said Baughman, who finished 17-for-25 for 244 yards and added nine carries for 88 yards and a 26-yard score. “It’s awesome when they’re blocking like that. It’s so easy. And my wide receivers are so good, on those one-on-one matchups, they’re always open.”
Running back Brock Snowball joined the scoring barrage — it was the first of two touchdowns for the junior — following Baughman’s 9-yard strike to Mitchell Blackburn (6 catches, 59 yards) as Wadsworth had a 41-0 advantage before halftime.
“Our kids locked in and they were focused,” Todd said “I didn’t expect that, though. I expected a four-quarter battle, but our kids came out with some fire. A few things go our way and, all of a sudden, it’s like quicksand. Our kids continued to pedal downhill and broke their will.”
Toss in a defensive effort that featured an interception from Noah Alic and tackles for loss from Snowball, Randolph, McMillen, Jack Grice and Fernholz, who also had a hand in sacks of Dylan Dagley (12-for-19, 77 yards), and Wadsworth was everywhere.
Even defensive lineman Cole Lamp got in on the fun with a fumble recovery late in the game as Wadsworth dismantled a Wooster team reeling from injuries.
“They just didn’t quit,” Todd said. “They played with some tenacity tonight, and this meant a lot to them.”
In honor of Tribute to the Troops Night, Wadsworth wore red uniforms with U.S.A. on the front and Grizzlies on the back above the numbers. The new gear also featured stars on a patch of blue above the shoulder.
l Wooster All-Ohio running back Trey Mathis suited up for the first time this season after being sidelined with an injury, but finished with just 10 yards on five carries.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wadsworth 47, Wooster 0
WOOSTER 0 0 0 0 — 0
WADSWORTH 28 13 6 0 — 47
Wa — Brett Randolph blocked punt recovery in end zone (Ryan Larj kick), 10:56.
Wa — Christian Szalay 32 pass from Joey Baughman (Larj kick), 8:04.
Wa — Grant Martinez 51 pass from Baughman (Larj kick), 6:55.
Wa — Baughman 26 run (Larj kick), 3:12.
Wa — Brock Snowball 8 run (Larj kick), 9:53.
Wa — Mitchell Blackburn 9 pass from Baughman (kick blocked), 3:23.
Wa — Snowball 4 run (kick blocked), 6:58.