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Fighting Tigers rush past Tomcats, 53-18

he Ashland Tomcats needed a more than a sewing machine Saturday night.

The Tomcats put 10 defenders on the line of scrimmage, but that still didn't stop the Ironton Fighting Tigers who pounded out a 53-18 romp at Tanks Memorial Stadium.

Ironton (5-1) rolled up 455 yards on the ground including an amazing 215 in the third quarter alone. Overall, Ironton had 485 total yards.

"When you put that many guys in the box and someone breaks a seam, you're going to get big plays," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. "They put them up there and we kept breaking the seam.."

Fullback Matt White, who sat out last week's game with an ankle injury, returned to the line up and ran for 186 yards on 24 carries and scored four touchdowns. The yardage and four TDs were both single-game career highs for White.

"It was a little more fun this week," White said with a grin, thinking how he sat out last week. "I got a little winded and stood (on defense the first half). But I got my second win the second half."

Besides White, Josh Sands had 92 yards one nine tries and scored a touchdown. Sands also caught one pass for 30 yards.

Ashland (4-2) finished with 186 yards rushing and 46 passing. Brandon Swimm had 60 yards and quarterback Tyler Baldridge ran nine times for 61 yards.

"Their quarterback was pretty elusive. But we didn't tackle very well," said Lutz.

Ironton set the tone for the game early when a bad snap on an Ashland punt was recovered by the Fighting Tigers at the 3-yard line. White scored on the next play and it was

7-0.

The Tomcats returned

the ensuring kickoff to midfield, and

five

plays

later Baldridge scrambled on a pass play and scored.

Leading

7-6, Ironton went on a 52-yard, nine-play drive. Quarterback Andrew Harvey climaxed the march as he kept the ball and went 18 yards for the score on a fourth-and-1 situation. Lutz's conversion kick put the lead at 14-6.

White's third touchdown of the night came on a 4-yard run to cap a 70-yard, 10-play drive and it was 21-6.

Ashland answered with the aid of a penalty on Ironton and scored on a 1-yard run by Johnson to get within 21-12.

Then came the third quarter and Ironton really began its dominance.

It took six plays for Ironton to score and it was 27-12 with 9:04 left in the third quarter.

Ashland was forced to punt and Ironton needed only four plays to score. This time it was Sands who ran 32 yards for the touchdown and a 34-12 lead..

Three straight incomplete passes had Ashland punting again, and Ironton took over at its own 17. This time the drive began in the third quarter and ended in the fourth quarter as Ironton marched 83 yards in 10 plays. The drive began in the third quarter and ended in the fourth as White went the final 2 yards and turn overall and it was 41-12.

Another fumble was recovered by Ironton at the 16-yard line, and three plays later Jeff Pleasant scored off the right side. The conversion kick was blocked and it was 47-12.

Ashland got its final score on its next possession thanks to a 13-yard pass by Sammy Hemsley to Ben Robinette.

Ironton capped the scoring when Marlin Turner bounced off a couple of tackles and ran 55 yards for a touchdown with just 19 seconds to play.

"This was a big game for both of us. We needed this for points in the computer ratings. We played better the second half," Lutz said.

The Fighting Tigers now host Covington Holmes next Friday for homecoming.