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Bolden company pose major threat to Ironton

Sports writers can be forgiven if they misspell Jeremiah Bolden's last name. Instead of Bolden, it could easily be written as Boltin'.

In three games this season, the Portsmouth Trojans 5-foot-9, 180-pound senior tailback has already amassed 702 yards and scored 11 touchdowns including a season-opening performance when he ran 13 times for 349 yards and score SEVEN touchdowns.

Bolden's numbers have made fans forget running sensation Jo Jo Parker, but opposing coaches can't help but remember where the tailback is at all times.

One such coach is Ironton's Bob Lutz who said Bolden will present quite a problem for his team when the unbeatens meet Friday at Spartan Stadium.

"He's a pretty good runner. He played fullback last year, so he has to have some toughness, and we've seen him run hard," said Lutz. "He can break tackles, and when he gets in the open field he's tough to catch."

Bolden had 181 yards and two scores in a 25-21 come-from-behind win over Chillicothe. He followed that with 172 yards and two TDs in a 27-18 win last week over previously unbeaten Portsmouth West.

If Bolden was the only threat in the Portsmouth attack, Lutz might not feel so bad. But Bolden has plenty of company in senior quarterback Craig Felts (6-1, 200).

Although not a prolific passer as previous Trojan quarterbacks, Craig Felts was 0-3 passing against Chillicothe, but he ran for 197 yards on 10 tries and a touchdown. His 70-yard run late in the game set up the Trojans winning touchdown, a 3-yard run by Bolden.

"There are teams who say Felts isn't that good, but from what I've seen he's pretty darn good. You give him a seam and he's off to the races. He's a good athlete. You better not overlook him. We're not," said Lutz.

Ironton and Portsmouth are both 3-0. Ironton is ranked third in the first Associated Press Division IV poll and the Trojans are fourth.

The Fighting Tigers have only two starters back from last season while Portsmouth has four offensive and five defensive starters returning.

Besides Bolden, senior right tackle David Avery Smith, senior right guard David Boren, and big junior left tackle Gerald Cadogen (6-7, 275) return.

The defensive veterans are senior end Scott Arms, senior tackle Bobby Waughtel, Bolden at outside linebacker, senior Jeremy Mathis at inside linebacker, and Felts at cornerback.

"Portsmouth has a few more players back than we do, but they have some young guys in the lineup like us. The thing that concerns me is the number of seniors. They've seven or eight on offense and defense, and that kind a maturity makes a difference," said Lutz. Jim Walker/The Ironton Tribune