Fighting Tigers collar Bulldogs, 42-0

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 16, 1999

Kerns, who starts at halfback, was filling in for fullback Michael Henry who was out with a concussion he suffered in practice on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 16, 1999

Kerns, who starts at halfback, was filling in for fullback Michael Henry who was out with a concussion he suffered in practice on Tuesday. All he did was rush 10 times for a team-high 78 yards to aid Jason Harmon’s five-touchdown performance in the Fighting Tigers 42-0 rout Friday night at Tanks Memorial Stadium.

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"I was a little nervous at first, but once I got in there I felt all right. I’ve played fullback my whole life. But I like to block for (Henry). And I thought Jon did real well," said Kerns.

With Kerns at fullback, Jon Sites moved from tight end back to halfback. Although he took Kerns’ role as a blocking back, he ran four times for 28 yards and caught a pass for 10 yards.

"Kerns is a capable back. He’s big and strong and he has good speed. He can get the job done," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said.

Harmon got the job done as well. He ran 13 times for 74 yards, caught three passes for 60 yards, and scored five touchdowns running, receiving, and on an interception.

"With Henry out, our other backs had to step it up. Harmon and Kerns ran well, and we moved Jon Sites back to halfback and he ran the ball well and blocked well," Lutz said.

Quarterback Jimmy Peyton hit 6 of 11 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

Ironton, 6-1, rolled up 384 total yards including 263 on the ground.

"And Peyton had another good game. He had good touch on the ball and his timing was pretty good," said Lutz. "We were a little sluggish at first, but our defense played pretty well. Any time you shut a team out and hold them to 130 yards offense, you’ve got to be pleased."

South had 102 yards on the ground and just 31 passing.

While Henry was withheld from play, Ironton played as though it were a little woozy in the early going.

The Fighting Tigers scored on the game’s second play thanks to their defense. Pressure from Redgie Arden forced Bobby Johnson to hurry his throw as he was being leveled.

Harmon stepped up and made the interception, then returned the ball 37 yards for the touchdown. Clark Cooper’s first of five conversion kicks made it 7-0 at the 11:04 mark.

South ran off nine plays before turning the ball over on downs at its own 47. Ironton marched to the 7-yard line, but a fumble on second and goal at the one was recovered by South.

The Bulldogs could only move the ball out to the 15 and a 31-yard punt gave Ironton the ball at the 47 again.

Two poorly executed runs failed to gain a yard, so quarterback Jimmy Peyton went on top and hit Arden with a 19-yard pass for a first down. Two plays later Peyton found Harmon over the middle for a 34-yard touchdown pass and it was 14-0.

Kerns had a 23-yard run on a fourth down play that kept Ironton’s next drive alive. Three plays later Peyton teamed up with Brad Williams in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown strike and it was 21-0 with 1:17 left in the half.

The second started with an Ironton drive to the 28, but an interception halted the scoring threat.

Ironton got the ball back at its own 27 and quickly went the distance highlighted by a 10-yard pass to Sites and a 26-yard toss to Harmon.

Sites ran 11 yards to the 17 and Harmon took the ball into the end zone on the next play as the quarter ended with Ironton ahead 28-0.

Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, nose guard Ryan Justice made a hit on quarterback Danny Sammons to jar the ball loose and Arden pounded on it at the 26. It took just four plays for Ironton to get the touchdown as Harmon ran the final yard with 9:27 to play.

The second unit finished off the scoring with a five-play, 46-yard drive capped by Josh Harmon’s 4-yard touchdown run. Tommy Lutz kicked the extra point with 5:46 left.