The sweet taste of victory lasted only one week for the Cuyahoga Falls football team.
On the heels of their wild win over Brecksville-Broadview Heights the week before, the Black Tigers lost 42-0 at Suburban League National Conference rival Wadsworth to fall to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in the National Conference.
The undefeated Grizzlies provided a tough reality check for the Black Tigers Sept. 28 at Art Wright Stadium.
"We went in with a game plan of throwing to open up the run because of the way Wadsworth runs its defense," said Cuyahoga Falls head coach Shane Parker. "We thought we’d complete some passes, back them off a little bit and then get the ground game going.
"We moved the ball well against a talented defense, but we made some mistakes at the most inopportune times, tried to force the ball in places where it didn’t need to go.
"We got into the red zone a few times, but then when things got congested a little bit, we weren’t as smart as we should’ve been."
Six mistakes were interceptions by junior quarterback Braunavan Arsenault.
"It’s hard to win with six turnovers, especially against a team like Wadsworth, undefeated and the best team in the National Conference," said Parker. "Many of those turnovers turned into points for them. They did a pretty good job of capitalizing on our mistakes.
"It wasn’t just Braunavan’s fault, though. Our offensive line was struggling to protect him, and Wadsworth’s defense is really good."
Wadsworth took a 7-0 first-quarter lead when Dylan Walsh scored from a yard out.
In the second quarter, Walsh raced 95 yards for another touchdown and a 14-0 Grizzlies lead.
Later in the quarter, Joey Baughman ran 80 yards for a score to increase the Wadsworth lead to 21-0 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Brandon Harrod caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Trey Shaffer for a 28-0 Wadsworth lead.
Later in the quarter, Baughman scored on a three-yard run to make it 35-0.
The Grizzlies had a 57-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for the game’s final points.
Despite his tough night, Arsenault did manage to go 16-of-36 for 198 yards.
"Braunavan did a pretty good job of spreading the ball around," said Parker.
Senior wide receiver Eric Rosiak had six receptions for 89 yards, including a 31-yarder.
"Eric stepped into his own a little bit," the coach said. "He’s a very physically gifted young man, and he’s finally starting to gain some confidence in himself. We’ve believed in him all along."
Junior wide receiver Alex Rowan had three receptions for 42 yards, sophomore wide receiver Christian Casto had four catches for 35 yards and senior receiver Daizhaun Brazile caught three passes for 32 yards.
"Alex had a breakout game against Brecksville, and he’s used that momentum to get better each week," said Parker. "Christian stepped up for us. He had some big catches, especially over the middle.
"Daizhaun had another nice night for us. He’s a guy who opponents need to game plan for."
Junior running back Robert Graves had 29 rushes for 107 yards, his third straight 100-yard game.
"Robert is really starting to put it together," Parker said. "I’m really proud of his efforts."
Senior defensive back Tyler Vassalotti had 12 tackles, including one for a loss.
"Ty had another great game," said Parker. "He’s coming back to full swing and full power since his injury in Week 2."
Senior linebacker Tyler Hitchings had 11 tackles, including two for a loss, and a sack.
"Tyler had another solid night," the coach said. "Both he and Ty Vassalotti are leaders. The defensive energy flows through those two guys."
Senior defensive lineman Jordan Williams had eight tackles. Brazile, doubling as a defensive back, recorded seven tackles.
With six tackles apiece were Arsenault, also doubling at defensive back, and senior defensive back Scott Smith.
Cuyahoga Falls is scheduled to host both Hudson Friday and Nordonia Oct. 12. Both are National Conference games and are set to start at 7 p.m.