Ironton must stop Gallia RB

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 4, 2001

And then along came Jones.

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

And then along came Jones. That’s Bobby Jones, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior running back for the Gallipolis Blue Devils.

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Jones ran just nine times for 247 yards and scored five touchdowns on runs of 10, 60, 9, 71, and 45 yards in Gallipolis’ 62-0 rout of Coal Grove last Friday. This Friday, the Ironton Fighting Tigers defense will get its turn at trying to slow down the Blue Devils star running back.

"He’s a pretty good running back. He’s got good speed and quickness and the ability to accelerate. He’s the best back we’ve seen so far this season," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said.

Gallipolis is 2-0 including a season-opening 57-0 whipping of Meigs. Ironton also is 2-0 with lopsided wins over Wheelersburg (42-0) and South Point (60-0). Ironton won last season’s meeting 26-10.

"Gallipolis is a lot like last year. They’re not real big, but they’re quick and their skilled players can all run," Lutz said. "Their quarterback throws the ball better and he’s got some people who can catch it."

Senior David Brodeur (5-11, 170) returns at quarterback with Clarke Saunders (6-1, 190) taking over the fullback spot vacated by the graduation of All-Ohio runner Ike Simmons.

Back at split end is Josh Perry (5-11, 150) with senior Nathan Kiskis (6-3, 200) the tight end and either junior Cole Haggerty (5-7, 140) or sophomore Andre Geiger (5-8, 150) the wingback.

Across the front line is junior center Nathan King (6-2, 280), senior guards Matt Weaver (6-1, 170) and Aaron Burnett (5-8, 200), and senior tackles Ben Doolittle (6-2, 255) and Kyle Forgey (6-1, 285).

The defense is smaller but even quicker.

Junior Dustin Hall (5-9, 155) is the nose guard, Forgey and Burnett the tackles, and Kiskis and senior Mick Sibley (5-11, 190) the ends.

Senior Nick Merola (6-0, 175) and Saunders return at linebacker. Seniors Justin North (5 -10, 155) and Joel Elliott (5-7, 150) are the corner with Jones and sophomore Donnie Johnson (6-00, 160) the safeties.

"Defensively, they’ve got good quickness and great lateral movement. They swarm to the ball. We’ll have to have a great effort to best them," Lutz said.

A key area for the Blue Devils so far has been the kicking game. Geiger and Johnson have returned several punts for touchdowns and had numerous other long runs to set up a short drives.

"Any time you have speed, you can make things happen," said Lutz.

Game time Friday is 7:20.