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Tigers must find way to contain Trojans


Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Ka-booom. It looks like a point explosion.

Speed combined with size and skill has made the Portsmouth Trojans the area’s most explosive team. The Trojans, 5-0, have scored 260 points for an average of 52 points a game.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers will have to contend with the speed and explosive attack of the Trojans Friday night when they meet at 7:30 p.m. in Spartan Stadium.

"They’ve got speed all over the place," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. "Everyone is aware of how well (Jo Jo) Parker and (Jeremy) Hamrick can run, but their receivers are equally as dangerous. If they get in the open field and you miss, they go coast-to-coast."

Parker, a 5-foot-8, 173-pound junior, rushed for more than 350 yards in a 61-14 rout of Waverly and had 120 yards on just 11 carries with three touchdowns in last week’s 66-0 spanking of Vinton County.

Hamrick gained 188 yards on six carries and scored four touchdowns last week. He sat out the previous week with an injury.

But making the ground game go is an offensive line led by senior center Matt Howbert (6-6, 270), considered one of the top linemen in Ohio.

The tight end is Derek Thompson (6-3, 185), guards Josh Smith (5-10, 210) and Jeff Swords (6-2, 220) on the left side and Bruce Kalb (5-10, 220) on the right side, and tackles Curtis Miller (6-0, 250) and Mike McMahon (6-2, 260).

All are seniors except Kalb, a junior.

"They’ve got some good people of front. They’ve got size and they good a good job," Lutz said.

The split end is junior D Jay Carter(6-3, 180) and the flanker Bradley Parker (5-9, 148).

The quarterback is senior Josiah Young (6-3, 186) and the fullback junior Zach Harris (6-0, 245).

"Their quarterback has a good arm and he can throw the ball when they need it," Lutz said. "Their receivers are dangerous in the open field, and their fullback is a big, strong runner."

While the offense is a scoring machine, the defense is equally as effective.

The Trojans have allowed just 33 points or a 6.6 average.

"They come after you," Lutz said. "They’re aggressive up front and they have the speed in their linebackers and secondary to cover you man-to-man. It’ll be difficult to move the football."

The ends in the 4-4 alignment are Harris and either Thompson or junior Mike Lampkins (5-11, 215). The tackles are seniors Dustin Pendleton (6-1, 190) and Eric Wamsley (6-1, 230).

Swords and J. B. Williams are the inside linebackers with sophomore Jeremy Mathis (6-0, 195) and junior Brad Porter on the outside.

The corners are senior Kyle Porter (5-11, 180) and Malone with the safety junior Tyler Hammond (5-10, 150).