SP coach knows things will change this week

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

SOUTH POINT – Last week, Brent Terry felt like a new groom.

Wednesday, August 30, 2000

SOUTH POINT – Last week, Brent Terry felt like a new groom. This week, Terry said the wedding bells aren’t ringing.

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When the South Point Pointers routed the Vinton County Vikings 42-6 Friday, it gave Terry a win in his high school coaching debut.

But Terry knows this week’s opponent won’t be so loving as the Ironton Fighting Tigers come to Pointer Stadium.

"The honeymoon is over. No question about that," Terry said.

"They’re a very disciplined team. They have some quality kids, but coach (Bob) Lutz and his staff do a good job of getting the most out of their players. And sometimes it’s overlooked, but they do a great job with the kicking game."

Ironton is coming off a tough 10-3 win over Wheelersburg. Josh Harmon’s 78-yard punt return for a touchdown proved to be the difference in the game while placekicker Tommy Lutz added a 22-yard field goal.

The Fighting Tigers have an all-new backfield this season. None of the four starters return from last season when Ironton reached the Division IV state finals. That also means none of the backs return from last year’s 71-6 win over the Pointers.

"I don’t know how (their backfield) rates compared to last year. I didn’t see them last year, but I know this year they have some strong kids in the backfield," Terry said.

"They’re fullback (B. J. Kerns) is a really nice kid, and when their quarterback (Drew Mains) keeps it, we have to be aware of him when he runs it. He had some very physical runs against Wheelersburg."

Kerns ran for 109 yards on 17 carries last week. Mains was 1-of-4 passing for 30 yards, but two of his passes were dropped.

While many critics think Ironton doesn’t have a passing game, Terry begs to differ.

"They’re not a great throwing team, but they’re very capable. We can’t just sell out. We can’t put 10 guys on the line of scrimmage. They’ve been around the block. If we do that, they’ll burn us," Terry said.

Running or passing, Terry said the key to Ironton is the offensive line.

"They’re offense just clicks. The timing is really good. Their offensive line is massive and they come off the ball for big kids. Sometimes you see little kids come off hard, but they have some whoppers up there and they come off with some fury," Terry said.

Not only does Ironton’s offensive line impress the Pointers rookie coach, but he is equally impressed with the defensive front including linebackers Redgie Arden and Matt Kelly and nose guard Tyler Scior.

"Their defensive line is very good. We have to stay on our blocks. They’re nose guard made a lot of tackles early in the game and can cause some havoc. We have to be aware of him," Terry said.

"Everyone knows about Arden. He does a fabulous job, but the other linebacker (Kelly) is a quality player. There is no one we can say ‘let’s go at him.’ We just have to mix it up and keep them off-balance. But to throw it, we have to give our quarterback some time. They have some nice blitzes and we have to be able to pick them up. And we can’t let them bull rush us back in to the backfield."

Pointers quarterback Jarrod Smith was 6-of-8 for 113 yards and two touchdowns last week.

But the firepower of the Pointers offense isn’t the number one area of concern for Terry.

"We have to be good tacklers. That’s the key. We can get guys in the right spot. We just have to hang around the ball and tackle. And we’ve got to play well on the offensive line and defensive line to have a chance," Terry said.