HUDSON — Not much went right in the first half Friday night for Wadsworth's offense.
The Grizzlies gave up a defensive touchdown, had two turnovers on downs and were stuffed on the goal line by Hudson.
"We came in and the kids were a little down at the half," said Wadsworth coach Justin Todd. "I said, 'Fellas, we're right there. We get the ball to start the second half, we score and it's a brand new game.' That's exactly what happened."
Grizzlies quarterback Will Stack got after his teammates.
"We just told them, 'How bad do you want it? This is for the league right here,'" Stack said.
Wadsworth showed it wanted it with a 14-play touchdown drive to open the second half. The momentum never switched after that.
The Grizzlies scored 19 unanswered points in the second half, turning a scoreless first half into a 19-13 win Friday at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
Wadsworth (5-1) will face Nordonia next Friday in Macedonia with first place in the Suburban League National Conference on the line.
"I can't be more proud of the group of kids," Todd said. "We're a no-excuse-making team. We've got a lot of guys banged up. Our kids just kept swinging. That's all we ask of them."
It was a tough loss for Hudson (4-2), which played nearly flawless defense in the first half to take a 13-0 lead.
"I have to tip my hat to them," said Hudson coach Jeff Gough. "They executed. We just couldn't find a rhythm on offense and were struggling to get off the field on defense. They put together a couple of nice long drives."
Stack was the catalyst for Wadsworth all night. He finished with 126 yards and touchdown rushing, while going 12-of-17 passing for 155 yards.
"He told us not to give up," Stack said of Todd. "Obviously, we made mistakes and they were chances to capitalize. We came out and we were physical."
Down big at the half, Wadsworth football turns it around vs. Hudson
Hudson's defense took center stage in the first half.
First, Hudson's Trey Sharp scooped up a fumble after a completed pass, returning it 8 yards for the game's first score.
Then, after a 62-yard scramble by Stack, Hudson stuffed Wadsworth's Kyle Figuray on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
Aided by a roughing the kicker penalty, Hudson took a 13-0 lead late in the first half when quarterback Peyton Neher plunged in a 1-yard quarterback sneak.
Neher finished 16-of-29 passing for 168 yards.
Stack said there was no panic in the Wadsworth locker room.
"We've dealt with adversity the last two games," he said. "Tonight, it was no different. We were down at half and we had to respond. It's simple as that."
After being held to minus-5 yards rushing in the first half, Wadsworth got Figuary going. He capped the Grizzlies' second-half opening drive with a 27-yard touchdown run.
Hudson gave the ball back to Wadsworth quickly, and Figuray capped the Grizzlies' ensuing drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to tie the score 13-13. Figuray finished with 23 rushes for 95 yards and two scores.
Stack then converted on fourth and long with a 32-yard pass to Drew Jones. On the next play, Stack ran for a 3-yard TD, making it 19-13 with 6:31 left.
Thanks to two missed extra points, Hudson had two chances to win the game, as it drove into Wadsworth territory late.
However, Neher had a pass batted down at the goal line in the final minute to seal the win.
Hudson running back Ian Ludewig finished with 31 carries for 108 yards, but only carried the ball six times in the second half.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Hudson High football stumbles in second half, loses to Wadsworth