Clear-cut favorites entering the night, the West Geauga griddders (4-1) didn’t waste time taking a 14-0 lead during a home clash against league foe Ashtabula Edgewood (1-4) on Friday night at Howell Field.
Wolverine 5-foot-9 junior quarterback Danny Stewart dialed up his favorite target, 6-foot-1 junior receiver Torry Stazzone, for a 25-yard touchdown four minutes into the game.
Then, after a fake Edgewood punt was snuffed out at the Warriors’ own 25-yard line, Stewart went back to work and delivered an 8-yard toss to 6-foot senior receiver Luke Musser for a 14-0 upper hand with 5:10 to go in the opening stanza.
But Edgewood continued to go for broke when it kept its offense on the field yet again, this time on fourth-and-12 from its own 26-yard line. The risk paid off, as 6-foot junior quarterback Zach Winchell completed a 74-yard touchdown toss to 6-foot junior receiver Izaiah Harris.
West Geauga fumbled its ensuing possession, and Edgewood’s Jacob Bell recovered it at the Wolverine 44-yard line. Warrior 170-pound senior running back Brian Bisbey capitalized on a 5-yard touchdown to tie the game, 14-14, with 11:55 left in the half, and it appeared that West Geauga had a game on its hands.
But that wasn’t the case, as West Geauga scored 24 unanswered points before intermission and went on to rout Edgewood, 58-14.
The Warriors attempted an onside kick after that game-tying touchdown, but West Geauga 235-pound junior Luca Gasbarrino – who graded out at 98 percent for the game from the left tackle position – recovered the attempt.
On the next play, Stewart redialed Musser on a 55-yard touchdown toss to reclaim the lead, 21-14, with 11:47 to go in the half. Stewart finished eight-of-11 passing for 185 yards with three touchdowns. The signal-caller also had six carries for 114 yards.
Edgewood went on to attempt another fake punt, but West Geauga 6-foot-4, 250-pound junior linebacker Luke Sadler sniffed it out and sacked Winchell to provide the Wolverines a 45-yard field.
West G 175-pound senior running back Trae Zimmermann, who had eight carries for 67 yards, capitalized on a 1-yard touchdown for a 28-14 lead.
Another fourth-and-long pass attempt was no good for Edgewood. West G junior kicker Joey DiLalla capitalized on a 33-yard field goal for a 31-14 lead with 1:00 to go in the half.
But the Wolverines weren’t finished yet.
Edgewood finally punted away with 33 seconds remaining before the break. Instead of taking a knee, West Geauga’s Stewart called his own number on a 38-yard touchdown run with eight ticks to spare for a 38-14 upper hand at intermission.
To open the third quarter, West G 180-pound senior back Peter Sanelli got free on a 47-yard chunk play to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by freshman Jack Zimmerman for a 45-14 lead with 11 minutes to go in the frame.
The Wolverines put the game to bed with two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a 5-yard run by 175-pound sophomore Burke Buell and a 65-yard jaunt by 175-pound sophomore Justin Artino for the 58-14 final.
West Geauga finished with 459 yards, including 274 yards rushing. Stazzone had four catches for 91 yards, while Musser had three catches for 76 yards.
Defensively, 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior linebacker Julian Cicchella had 10 tackles, two for losses, and one sack, while Sadler had seven tackles, three for losses, and two sacks.