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Old fashioned Ironton, South Point keep winning

While a lot of teams are turning toward the wide-open philosophy, two teams are staying with the old fashion attack.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers utilize the T-formation while the South Point Pointers run a double-wing offense. Each has three running back in tight and prefer to run the football rather than throw it.

Ironton coach Bob Lutz, now in his 34th season as a head coach, will use a pro set or a slot-I

formation. He said Ironton will give a more wide-open look, but "then we'll just run it off tackle."

Outsiders may criticize the offenses, but Ironton has won 303 games with Lutz's style including an 11-1 record last season as the Fighting Tigers won a fourth Associated Press poll championship, this time in Division IV.

South Point used its offense to generate a 7-3 record under first-year head coach Brent Wilcoxon and the Pointers won the Ohio Valley Conference championship for the first time since 1981 and their first outright title since 1980.

"Everyone talks about how old fashioned the T-formation is, but our offense is even more old fashioned," said Wilcoxon.

South Point amassed 403 rushing yards in a 34-8 win over Vinton County. Caleb Copley rushed 18 times for 198 yards and three touchdowns while fullback Chris Chapman ran 11 times for 136 yards and two scores.

"The Copley kid is a pretty good back. He has a little speed and he cuts back across the grain real well." said Lutz. "They're a young team, but so are we. We'll have to see how well our young guys adjust to their offense."

Ironton opened the season with a 24-9 win over Wheelersburg. The Fighting Tigers ran the football 43 times for 337 yards. Josh Sands gained 184 yards on just 15 carries and scored twice. Fullback Matt White ran 16 times for 77 yards while Jeff Pleasant had five tries for 49 yards and a 35-yard scoring run.

Neither team threw very many times. Ironton quarterback Andrew Harvey was 4 of 5 for 35 yards and the Pointers Tommy Hayner was 1 of 2 for 23 yards.

The two teams met last season with Ironton winning 60-0.

"Ironton was really good last year. They lost a lot of kids, but they still have a good team. They just seem to reload," Wilcoxon said who was the starting quarterback for the Fighting Tigers in 1979 when they won the Class AA state championship.

Game time is 7:30 p.m. Jim Walker/The Ironton Tribune