Wadsworth, OH- Art Wright Stadium was the site between the Austintown Fitch Falcons and the Wadsworth Grizzlies. The Falcons came into the Week 8 matchup at 6-1 while the Grizzlies came in at 5-2.
Fitch received the opening kickoff and the drive immediately came to a pause with a key injury to running back Jarnell James who was not able to return to the game.
The Falcons offense was able to get going a little bit with a few big plays from running back D.J. Williams and quarterback Deshawn Vaughn Jr. But the Falcons eventually had to punt it away.
The Wadsworth offense was non-existent on their opening drive, and punted away after a three and out.
Fitch then had another promising drive on offense but had to punt it away after 8 plays.
Wadsworth got the ball back and faced a 3rd and 1 at their own 31 as the first quarter came to an end with still no score.
The Grizzlies were able to keep the drive going after picking up the first down. Quarterback Luke Fischer started to get going with a big 18 yard pass during the drive to tight end Tommy Arnold.
Wadsworth eventually started to lean on running back Kyle Figuray. They were eventually able to get the ball into the end zone with Vaughn from one yard out to take the 7-0 lead halfway through the second quarter.
The game really got started next when Dan Evans returned the kickoff all the way back for Fitch to tie the game up at 7.
Wadsworth then took no time themselves to score. After great field position, Fischer connected with Aaron Keating for a 32 yard touchdown. The Grizzlies were only able to take a 13-7 lead due to a missed extra point.
Fitch was unable to respond and had another three and out.
Wadsworth was looking to capitalize and add to their lead before halftime. But their plans changed after Fischer was sacked and the Grizzlies had to turn it over on downs.
After a quick 29 yard pass from Vaughn to Jayden Eley, time ran out on the Falcons and halftime came around with Wadsworth leading 13-7.
Wadsworth started off with the ball to start the second half, but the drive ended two plays later after Fischer was intercepted by Dan Evans and Fitch took over at their own 15. After a six yard run, Vaughn took it himself all the way down for a 79 yard touchdown and the Falcons took a 14-13 lead.
Wadsworth really looked to respond here after a turnover on the previous drive. Fischer was much more accurate and finished off the drive with an eight yard touchdown pass to Stack. Fischer was also able to complete the two point conversion and the Grizzlies took a 21-14 lead with 5:53 in the third quarter.
Fitch got a first down early on in their next drive but nothing much after that and had to punt away again.
Wadsworth then had a very similar drive themselves next and had to punt just after a few plays. The third quarter came to an end not long after Fitch got the ball back.
Still trailing 21-14, the Falcons finally started to get going on offense with big plays by Vaughn and Williams before Vaughn took it into the end zone himself once again. This time it was a 7 yard rushing touchdown to tie the game for the Falcons.
Wadsworth had the worst possible outcome next as they had to punt after the Falcons defense forced a three and out.
Fitch got the ball back with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter. Williams was the main guy as he ran it 8 times for 21 yards and set up the Falcons for a field goal, but it was blocked and the game was still tied up at 21.
Wadsworth was unable to do anything on their next drive before turning it over on downs. Time ran out in the fourth quarter and that is when a long night of overtime started.
Wadsworth received the ball first in overtime and got a 6 yard touchdown run by Figuray and the Grizzlies took a 28-21 lead.
But Fitch was able to answer back on their first drive in overtime with a 5 yard touchdown run by Williams to tie the game up at 28.
Fitch stayed with the ball to start the second overtime, but Vaughn was intercepted by Ian Kaufman on the second play of the drive.
All Wadsworth had to do on their next drive was score to win but it all came crashing down very fast for the Grizzlies. It all started as soon as Figuray suffered a serious injury and had to be taken off the field by a stretcher due to an apparent leg injury.
The Grizzlies were eventually able to be set up for the game winning field goal but they had it blocked after a bad snap.
This took the game into a third overtime with Wadsworth starting first with the ball. It took just one play for the Grizzlies to score as Fischer connected with Davis Nye for the 20 yard touchdown and Wadsworth took a 35-28 lead.
Fitch responded on their next drive, when Vaughn hit Stack for the 16 yard touchdown and tied the game right back up at 35.
Fitch got to keep the ball to start the fourth overtime. The Falcons capitalized on the second play of the drive with a 16 yard touchdown run by Williams taking a 42-35 lead.
Both teams were going back and forth all overtime. Something had to give and it finally happened when Fischer was intercepted by Davion Pritchard to end the game.
The 42-35 win for Austintown Fitch helps them improve to 7-1 while the loss for Wadsworth drops them to 5-3 on the season.
One of the bright spots for Wadsworth on the night was Figuray who had 112 yards rushing.
Fitch head coach T.J. Parker talked about the big win.
This game recap is brought to you by Brunswick Auto Mart.