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Big plays lift DeSales past Tigers

The Columbus St.

Saturday, October 30, 1999

The Columbus St. Francis DeSales Stallions made big plays and the Ironton Fighting Tigers made big plays in Friday’s game at Tanks Memorial Stadium.

However, the difference was DeSales made more and the result was a 27-13 win.

"They just made more big plays than we did," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. "In big games, you have to step up and make those plays. Their quarterback made a lot of big plays for them."

Chris Borghese, filling in for the injured Chris Mahaffey, was a big-play highlight film all to himself. The 5-foot-10, 140-pound junior ran 20 times for 105 yards and completed 16 of 21 passes for 306 yards and three touchdowns.

"The best thing he’s got is confidence. He’s a scrawny little kid, but he just keeps coming back at you," DeSales coach Bob Jacoby said of his quarterback.

Despite the loss, Ironton (6-3) should qualify for the postseason in eighth place of Region 16 in Division IV. The Fighting Tigers will finish with approximately a 16.7776 average which will be ahead of Waverly.

The eighth place finish means Ironton will play at Cincinnati Wyoming at 7 p.m. Saturday. Wyoming will be first in the region with a 25.85 average with runner-up Portsmouth at 23.8122.

Ironton hopes to have starting fullback and defensive end Michael Henry as well as starting guard and defensive tackle Mark Gleichauf back for the playoffs. Both Henry and Gleichauf were held out of action Friday.

Starting linebacker and tight end Redgie Arden is out for the season with a knee injury.

The first big play came on the first play of DeSales’ second possession. Borghese threw a quick out to Kevin Hazel who split two defenders and raced 43 yards for the touchdown. Richie McNally’s conversion kick made it 7-0.

Ironton used two big plays to set up its first touchdown. Quarterback Jimmy Peyton threw 22 yards to Jason Harmon and 39 yards to Brad Williams to put the Fighting Tigers at the 8.

Four plays later Peyton scored from a yard out and it was 7-6.

Late in the half it was DeSales’ turn again, this time a 48-yard touchdown pass from Borghese to Chris Boehn. McNally’s kick made it 14-6 with just 1:13 to go in the half.

"We did a very poor job of tackling the whole game and that resulted into some big plays for them," Lutz said.

Ironton appeared to have made a big defensive play only to have it backfire. DeSales had a third-and-goal at the 1 when Borghese was hit hard and fumbled the ball.

However, the ball squirted into the end zone where Hazel fell on the ball for the touchdown and a 20-6 lead. B. J. Kerns blocked the conversion attempt.

On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, it was big play time for certain as Peyton and Harmon clicked on a 59-yard touchdown pass. Clark Cooper’s conversion kick cut the deficit to 20-13.

After an exchange of punts, Ironton had another big play reverse its fortunes.

Drew Mains made a nifty over-the-shoulder interception and returned the ball 40 yards to the DeSales 7-yard line.

But Harmon , spinning for extra yardage inside the 5, was hit from behind by his own teammate and the ball popped loose. The Stallions recovered at the 9-yard line and the threat had ended.

Two plays resulted in a loss of a yard, but on the first play of the fourth quarter, Borghese hit Freddie Darling over the middle and he outraced the secondary 91 yards for the touchdown. McNally’s conversion kick capped the scoring with 11:47 to play.

Ironton was limited to just 25 net yards rushing. Harmon had 34 yards on 13 carries.

Peyton was 7 of 18 for 155 yards and an interception. Williams had two catches for 65 yards.

DeSales is now 7-3 and looking at a Division III playoff berth.