Morrison steps up as Ironton blanks Camels
ALEXANDRIA, Ky. -- The stand-in really stood out.
With starting fullback Matt White out with an ankle injury, backup fullback Aaron Morrison rose to the occasion Friday night as the Ironton Fighting Tigers blanked the Campbell County Camels 28-0.
Morrison carried 27 times for 181 yards and scored three touchdowns -- all career highs -- as Ironton bounced back from last week's loss at Portsmouth and improved to 4-1 on the season.
"It was fun. I was loving it," said Morrison. "But the line blocked great. There were some big holes up front. Anyone could have ran through them."
Heavy rains drenched the field before the game and left a sloppy, muddy surface. With leading rusher Josh Sands unable to get the footing conducive to his speed, Morrison's ability to run inside helped Ironton score three second half touchdowns.
"The footing was really tough, so it was just a matter of beating them off the ball up front and hitting the holes hard and moving the pile," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said.
"Any time you have an injury to a key player, you have to have someone step up their game. I thought we did that, especially Morrison. He got a chance to be the featured guy and he came through. That's a big win for us."
Ironton led just 7-0 at the half thanks to a special teams play. The Camels were punting with the ball at the 36 when Ironton's Chris Collins blocked the kick and A. J. McKnight fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. A. J. Lutz kicked the first of four conversions and it was 7-0.
Each team had drives stall and attempt field goals. Ironton's Jeremy Akers blocked the Camels 26-yard attempt, and A. J. Lutz had his 23-yard attempt sail wide right just before the half.
Ben Murphy recovered a Campbell County fumble at the 40-yard line two plays into the second half, and Morrison carried six straight plays including the final 6 yards for a 14-0 lead.
The Camels drove to the Ironton 16 on the next series, but Mike Ryan was stopped on a fourth-and-1 play. Ironton then went 84 yards in 12 plays capped by Morrison's 4-yard run for a 21-0 lead with 9:09 to play.
The Fighting Tigers stopped Campbell County on the next series thanks in part to a quarterback sack by Tyler Whaley, then began a 54-yard march in nine plays. Morrison ran the final 2 yards for the touchdown with 3:13 to go.
Campbell County was limited to 97 yards rushing. Ryan had 73 yards on 13 attempts. Quarterback Chris Cornetet was 10 of 20 for 104 yards including 4 of 7 for 27 yards against the second unit.
Irn -- A. J. McKnight recovered blocked punt in end zone (A. J. Lutz kick) 5:07
Irn -- Aaron Morrison 6 run (A. J. Lutz kick) 7:51
Irn -- Aaron Morrison 4 run (A. J. Lutz kick) 9:09
Irn -- Aaron Morrison 2 run (A. J. Lutz kick) 3:13
RUSHING – Ironton: Aaron Morrison 27-181, Josh Sands 10-23, Jeff Pleasant 4-19, Chris Collins 5-29, Daniel Murphy 1-4. Campbell: Josh Zappa 11-32, Mike Ryan 13-73, Mitch Smith 2-7, Andy Fielders 1-1, Steve Foster 1-minus 1, Chris Cornetet 6-minus 15.
PASSING – Ironton: Andrew Harvey 3-3-0
40, Josh Sands 0-1-0. Campbell: Chris Cornetet 10-20-0 104.
RECEIVING – Ironton: Josh Sands 3-40. Campbell: Mike Ryan 1-17, Mitch Smith 6-44, Zach Schmidt 1-14, Matt Donohoe 1-12, Mike Mockbee 1-7.
MISSED FIELD GOALS – Ironton: A. J. Lutz 23 (WR); Campbell: Chris Batshe 26 (blocked). Jim Walker/The Ironton Tribune