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Fighting Tigers brace for Ashland, Beach

This won’t be you’re typical day at the Beach.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

This won’t be you’re typical day at the Beach. The Ironton Fighting Tigers may not enjoy this trip to the Beach, namely Arliss Beach, the talented running back of the Ashland Tomcats.

Beach, a 6-foot, 190-pound senior, has already given a verbal commitment to the University of Kentucky. He has rushed for 794 yards on just 79 carries, just a little more than 10 yards a carry, and he has scored 15 touchdowns.

On the receiving end, Beach has caught 10 passes for 92 yards.

"He’s their ‘go to’ guy," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. "They like to feature him and for obvious reasons. He has size, speed, strength, and great balance. He can run or catch the ball. He’s one of the best backs we’ll see."

While it appears Beach is a one-man wrecking crew, the Tomcats have more weapons.

Junior quarterback Ryne Salyer (6-1, 185) has completed 30-of-53 for 424 yards and just one interception. He threw for only 89 yards in the first two games which were wins, then threw for 335 yards in the two losses.

Senior Zach Davis (6-4, 200) is the team’s leading receiver with 157 yards on six receptions. Sophomore running back Matt Johnson (6-2, 195) has rushed for 217 yards on 44 carries.

"Ashland has everything you need to have a good team. They have great size, a great back, a quarterback who can throw the ball, a bunch of guys who can catch it, and they have good speed in their skilled players," Lutz said. "They’ve had some injuries the past couple of years we’ve played them, but they’re healthy and they’re at home, so we know we’ve got a tough game ahead of us."

Up front the Tomcats figure to start sophomore Dustin Caudill (6-1, 245) at center, seniors Taylor Vaughn (6-1, 205) and Evan Never (6-0, 220) at the guards, senior Daniel Ramey (6-4, 250) and junior Grant Layne (6-0, 260) at the tackles, with senior Ryan Stutler (6-0, 230) and Davis or sophomore Clark Norris (6-1, 230) the ends.

Sharing duties in the backfield are senior Josh Duley (5-8, 153) and junior Brandon Swimm (5-10, 178).

The defense is led by Stutler at end. After missing almost all of last season with a knee injury, Stutler has returned with a vengeance. He bench presses 410 pounds and at a scouting combine camp last summer he benched 185 an amazing 32 straight times.

Stutler is joined at end by Clark, junior Steve Lee (6-foot, 200) is the nose guard, Ramey and Layne the tackles, and Vaughn and Johnson the linebackers.

The secondary has Davis and junior James Ellison (5-9, 160) at the corners while Duley and Beach are the safeties.

"They’ve got a big defensive front and seven starters back, so they’ve got a lot of experience," Lutz said.

Ashland is 2-2 but did not play last week when the Sheldon Clark game was postponed until Saturday. Sheldon Clark said it could not play on Saturday and the situation is being reviewed by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Ashland is expected to be awarded a forfeit win.