NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio – Through the first six weeks of the high school football season, few have been able to contain Wadsworth’s high-octane offense, in particular senior quarterback Joey Baughman.
On Friday, the fireworks continued, as Baughman threw for a school-record 416 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Grizzlies over host North Royalton, 61-28, in Suburban League National Division action.
Baughman completed 21 of 32 passes. He added 74 yards on the ground and two more scores, totaling 490 yards of offense on the night. He led the Grizzlies to eight consecutive scoring drives and 595 yards of offense.
“I have to give credit to my offensive line and receivers,” said Baughman. “I can’t do what I do without them.”
Baughman connected with three different targets on his touchdown passes: senior wide receiver Christian Szalay for a 49-yard score; junior running back Brock Snowball from 14 yards out; and senior wide receiver Mitchell Blackburn for a 74-yard strike on the Grizzlies’ third play of the second half.
He added touchdown runs of 10 and 11 yards.
“He’s a special player,” said Wadsworth coach Justin Todd. “He’s the first to give credit to his receivers and O-line, and tonight, he and the offense were able to execute.”
The Grizzlies set the tone on their opening drive, as it took just four plays to find the end zone. Baughman connected with Blackburn for two huge passing plays, before junior running back Brock Snowball scored from 1 yard out. It was a sign of things to come from the Baughman-to-Blackburn connection, as the receiver also set a school record by hauling in 12 receptions for 261 yards and a score.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Baughman and the Wadsworth offense erupted for 31 second-quarter points to put the game out of reach at the half, 48-21. In the second half, Baughman’s pass to Blackburn put the running clock in motion.
Wadsworth (7-0, 4-0), ranked No. 8 in the Cleveland.com Top 25, has now scored 364 points through seven games — an average of 52 points per game. Baughman has accounted for 2,536 total yards – 1,864 passing, 672 rushing – and 31 touchdowns.
“Our coaches put in a lot of time putting together these game plans,” said Baughman. “We have to continue working hard at practice and in the film room.”
For North Royalton (3-4, 1-3), sophomore quarterback Joe Marousek led the way, completing 15-for-26 passes for 295 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Senior wide receiver Miles Strnad had four receptions for 98 yards and a score.
Next Friday, both teams continue conference action as Wadsworth returns home to take on Twinsburg, while North Royalton travels to Brecksville-Broadview Heights.