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Fighting Tigers face wide-open Camels

Have you ever heard of a flying camel?

That's what's the Ironton Fighting Tigers expect to see Friday night when they travel to Campbell County to play the pass-happy Camels.

Campbell County quarterback

Chris Cornetet, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior, threw for 829 yards last season in a run-oriented offense that helped the Camels reach the Kentucky Class 3-A playoffs.

But most of the running game is not among the four returning offensive starters. However, Cornetet's leading targets are back, senior split end Mike Mockbee (6-1, 165) and slotback Josh Zappa (5-9, 175).

The tight end is senior Zach Schmidt (6-1, 180) and the flanker is senior Mitch Smith (5-10, 180).

The fullback is senior Mike Ryan (5-9, 180) who missed last season with a broken leg.

"Their quarterback has a pretty good arm and he likes to put it in the air," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. "They've got some receivers who can catch the ball and their fullback is a tough runner. They're not real big up front, but they had a lot of quickness and they get after you."

Campbell County has virtually a new offensive line with the exception of senior center Ryan Kauffman (5-10, 220).

The left tackles i junior Nate Singleton (6-2, 230), the left guard Travis Friedly (5-8, 200), the right guard Scot Bowman (5-10, 225) and the right tackle Tony Bertram (6-3, 230).

If the offensive line seems small, the defensive line is even smaller.

The nose guard is Adam Moeves (5-9, 170), the are

tackles Mike Elam (6-1, 200) and Jordan Caudill (5-10, 200), and the ends Darrin Bachman (6-3, 190) and Nathan Metz (6-1, 195).

The linebackers are Andy Fielders (5-9,180) and Bobby Schilling (5-8, 170), the corners Wade Begley (5-8, 165) and Wes Reis (58, 165), the strong safety is Chris Pfefferman (5-11, 180) and the free safety Ben Ruoney (5-10, 50).

Caudill, Moeves, Pfefferman, and Fielders are all returning starters. Metz is a transfer who Camels coach Mike Corson said has unlimited potential.

"Many of the starters were backups last year and learned the defense well," Corson said. "They love to swarm to the ball and have a great attitude."

Lutz concurred with the assessment.

"They two platoon so they keep their guys fresh. They're not real big on defense, but they move them around and stunt all over the place. We'll have to be ready to block them or they'll cause a lot of havoc," said Lutz.

Ironton (3-1) is coming off a 25-7 loss to Portsmouth. Lutz isn't certain how his team will respond.

"Any time you lose, there's a little doubt in the back of your mind. You have a young team that hasn't been in a big game before in front six thousand people, and you tend to freeze up a little," said Lutz.

"Now we have a long road trip against a team that likes to spread you out and throw it. We'll have to be ready to play. They'll be a challenge for us." Jim Walker/The Ironton Tribune