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Belfry to spread Ironton defense

The Belfry Pirates are spreading the word, and they’re spreading it on thick as they spread the field.

Tuesday, October 19, 1999

The Belfry Pirates are spreading the word, and they’re spreading it on thick as they spread the field.

The wide-open offensive set and passing of three-year starter Jonathan Wright awaits the Ironton Fighting Tigers defense Friday night.

Belfry uses three or four split receivers and runs from the shotgun much of the game as the offense attempts to spread the defense across the field and throw to the open area.

"They like to wing it all over the place," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. "They’ve got four or five receivers who are all about the same and a veteran quarterback who knows how to run their offense. They can cause a lot of problems for your secondary, especially if you don’t get heat on the quarterback."

Last year when Ironton beat Belfry 36-15, Wright, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior, was 23 of 43 for 208 yards and a touchdown. However, he was intercepted three times.

The Pirates struggled early in the season and Wright missed a lopsided loss to Lawrence County due to an injury, but they have stepped up their play the past three weeks and have won three straight to bring the record to 5-3.

"They’re getting better and it’s always tough playing down there. It’s difficult for a team to prepare for someone like Belfry because you don’t see this type of offense very often," Lutz said.

Belfry has eight starters back on offense including left end Derrick Pauley (5-10, 144), tackle Justin Hensley ((6-4, 232), guards Michael McCoy (6-1, 218) and Derek Dotson (5-9, 222), right end Stweart Windle (5-11, 170), and running backs R. P. Vipperman (5-11, 200) and Curtis Childress (5-8, 147).

Childress ran nine times for 55 yards and a 15-yard touchdown scamper last year.

Defense has been a problem for the Pirates due mainly to just four returning starters.

Back are Hensley at end, Dotson at tackle, Vipperman at linebacker, and Childress at cornerback.

The rest of the defense has Shawn Taylor (5-9, 223) or Jason Ray (6-3, 350) at the other tackle, Todd Young (5-11, 233) at nose guard with Adam Reed (5-10, 176) at right end. Scott Bell (5-11, 178) is the other linebacker.

Danny Steenbergen (5-7, 133) and Childress are the corners while Casey Lequire (5-11, 171)and Jeff Thompson (5-10, 143) are the safeties.