Ironton ground game bullies Bulldogs
When you find a good horse, you ride it. Especially if he turns out to be a plow horse.
For the second week in a row, Ironton senior fullback Matt White proved to be a workhorse for a punishing ground game as the Fighting Tigers overpowered the Covington (Ky.) Holmes Bulldogs 39-14 Friday night.
White carried 33 times for 189 yards and scored a career-high five touchdowns behind the strong blocking of center Jason Cutlip, guards Jeremy Akers and Clay Price, and tackles Tyler Whaley and Robin Fout, along with ends A. J. McKnight, Aaron Quinn and Patrick Kouns.
&uot;We knew they had some size, but we wanted to go right at them. Our tackles tackles are too bad, and Whaley and Akers are a pretty good tandem,&uot; Ironton coach Bob Lutz said.
&uot;You get your offensive line coming off the ball and then White comes ramming in there behind them, and you’re going to push the pile. White ran about as hard as he ever has. Sometimes you’d think he might have gained a yard and he’d have four or five.&uot;
Ironton’s offense ran the ball 64 times, thus limiting the time Holmes talented quarterback Brandent Englemon had the ball in his hands. Josh Sands added 79 yards on 12 carries as Ironton improved to 6-1.
Englemon, who is being recruited by schools such as Michigan, Nebraska, and Northwestern, was 13 of 24 for 156 yards and two touchdowns and also ran 10 times for 59 yards. However, he suffered two critical interceptions.
&uot;Our game plan was to keep the passes in front of us. Their quarterback is a heck of an athlete and their receivers can all run,&uot; said Lutz. &uot;But we saw in our films that their quarterback liked to fake to the fullback and keep the ball, and we took that away from them. He hurt us a couple of times scrambling, but for the most part we contained him.&uot;
A 21-yard run by Bray Nelson and a 20-yard scramble by Englemon got the ball to the Ironton 32 to start the game, but Daniel Murphy’s interception gave the ball to Ironton.
The Fighting Tigers then went on a 12-play, 76-yard march that ended on White’s 1-yard run. A. J. Lutz kicked the conversion.
The Bulldogs (2-4) came right back on the strength of a 56-yard pass to Derrick Jennings to set up a 16-yard touchdown pass to Cordell Brown on a fourth down play. Matt Gipson’s conversion kick tied the game with 2:01 left in the first quarter.
Ironton then took control of the ball and went on a 71-yard drive that lasted 10 plays and culminated on a 3-yard run by White and it was 14-7.
Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, Josh Sands intercepted a pass and ran it back 38 yards to the Holmes’ 7-yard line. Sands scored two plays later and it was 20-7 after the conversion kick was blocked.
Sands had a 57-yard punt return to the Holmes 7 nullified on a penalty, but that didn’t stop Ironton when drove 79 yards in 10 plays to go up 26-7. White carried the final yard for the score.
Neither team scored the third quarter, but Ironton had a drive going that ended on the first play of the fourth quarter as White ran 7 yards for the TD and it was 32-7.
Holmes fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Ironton recovered at the 32. Four plays later White burst through the Holmes defense for 17 yards and his fifth touchdown.
&uot;I was a little tired, but I could have ran some more,&uot; said White who has nine touchdowns in the past two games.
Holmes got its final touchdown against the Ironton second unit when Englemon hit Justin Brown with a 1-yard touchdown pass with 5:40 to play.
Irn -- Matt White 1 run (A. J. Lutz kick) 4:49
CH -- Cordell Brown 16 pass from Brandent Englemon (Matt Gipson kick) 2:01
Irn -- Matt White 3 run (A. J. Lutz kick) 9:59
Irn -- Josh Sands 5 run (kick blocked)
Irn -- Matt White 1 run (run failed)
Irn -- Matt White 7 run (kick blocked) 11:56
Irn -- Matt White 17 run (A. J. Lutz kick) 10:02
CH -- Justin Brown 1 pass from Brandent Englemon (Matt Gipson kick)
RUSHING -- Holmes: Brandent Englemon 10-59, Bray Nelson 4-32, Ryan Walton 2-5, Cordell Brown 3-minus 6. Ironton: Matt White 33-189, Josh Sands 12-79, Jeff Pleasant 3-20, Daniel Murphy 1-6, Andrew Harvey 3-minus 2, Chris Collins 2-18, Aaron Morrison 3-12, Marlin Turner 2-9, Marcus Williams 2-12, Shane Kerns 2-8, Josh Adkins 1-2.
PASSING -- Holmes: 13-24-2
156. Ironton: Andrew Harvey 0-2-0.
RECEIVING -- Holmes: Sam Eisbernd 5-46, Derrick Jennings 1-56, Cordell Brown 1-16, Justin Brown 4-23, Bray Nelson 1-5. Ironton: None.