WOOSTER — The Wadsworth football team was forced to battle Friday, overcoming its mistakes as well as a talented Wooster team before posting the final three scores in 37-31 non-league victory.
Wide receiver Carson Risher’s Medina County-record 266 yards receiving and one touchdown carried the Grizzlies (2-0).
“That was freaking crazy. We were down and we could have laid down, but we fought back,” Risher said. “That was crazy. I’m so proud of my teammates for that.”
Wadsworth had 633 yards total offense compared to 413 for the Generals.
Wooster kicker Joseph Stoll drilled a 31-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, and the Generals scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter to take a 31-21 lead with 8:21 left in the period. Quarterback Dylan Dagley hit deep passes to senior Lonnie Harper and wide receiver Cameron Fast on the TDs as the Generals found success airing the deep ball after Wadsworth stymied the ground attack early.
“Dylan Dagley is incredible,” said Grizzlies coach Justin Todd, whose team had five turnovers and nine penalties for 84 yards. “That was the No. 1 guy that we aimed to stop. He’s that dynamic. He’s one of the greatest players I’ve had to go against.”
Dagley hit 17-of-26 passes for 264 yards and rushed for 31 yards and a score.
The turnaround started for the Grizzlies late in the third quarter after pinning Wooster at its 8-yard line. A couple plays into the drive, Wadsworth broke through the line and tackled senior Trevar Meese in the end zone for a safety to make the score 31-23.
On the following drive, the Grizzlies got the ball at midfield. On the first play of the fourth quarter, junior Trey Shaffer (16-for-23, 297 yards, TD, 3 INTs) found Risher breaking free down the middle of the field, and Risher got down to the 1-yard line for his final catch.
“(Risher’s) pretty good,” Todd said. “We knew he had that type of capability. For a kid the first time playing football, that’s pretty good.”
On the next play, junior running back Dom Loparo (168 yards) plunged into the end zone for his third touchdown.
“Dom’s the one guy that consistently plays on both sides of the ball,” Todd said. “We ask a lot out of Dom. He’s a phenomenal football player, but our offensive line did a nice job opening holes as well.”
Senior Brock Snowball scored from a yard out with 6:38 left on Wadsworth’s next drive. The score capped the running back’s 131-yard performance.
Wooster advanced to a first-and-goal at the 4, but Wadsworth stuffed two running plays and a snap went over Dagley’s head for a 20-yard loss. Linebacker Mason McMillen then stripped Dagley to force a turnover on downs.
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Wadsworth 37, Wooster 31
WADSWORTH 7 14 2 14 — 37
WOOSTER 0 17 14 0 — 31
Wa — Dom Loparo 20 run (Blake Turano kick), 10:06.
Wo — Dylan Dagley 1 run (Joseph Stoll kick), 7:49.
Wa — Loparo 45 run (Turano kick), 5:26.
Wo — Zach Marinello 22 pass from Dagley (Stoll kick), 3:41.
Wa — Risher 77 pass from Trey Shaffer (Turano kick), 2:58
Wo — Stoll 31 field goal, 0:00.
Wo — Lonnie Harper 65 pass from Dagley (Stoll kick), 10:48.
Wo — Cameron Fast 26 pass from Dagley (Stoll kick), 8:21
Wa — Safety (Trevar Meese tackled in end zone), 0:41.
Wa — Loparo 1 run (Loparo run), 11:31.
Wa — Brock Snowball 1 run (kick failed), 6:38.