White, Whaley headline area#039;s All-Ohio selections

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 28, 2002

The Ironton Fighting Tigers built their offense around fullback Matt White and tackle Tyler Whaley. Looking at the Associated Press Division IV All-Ohio team would indicate it was built pretty good.

White, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound senior, and Whaley, a 6-foot, 250-pound senior, were both named to the All-Ohio first team Tuesday.

White was first team on offense and Whaley was a first team defensive selection. Both players were two-way performers.

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Named to the All-Ohio special mention list were Ironton junior tackle Jeremy Akers, Rock Hill senior two-way end David Schug and Redmen junior running back/defensive back James Russell.

White led Ironton with 1,083 yards rushing on 203 carries for a 5.3 yards per carry average. He scored 18 touchdowns and had 110 total points to lead the team.

"Our offense was basically running the fullback behind Whaley and

Akers. White didn't just run hard, he punished people. If you tackled him, you paid a price," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said.

Whaley is a three-year starter and played defensive tackle, defensive end, and linebacker this past season.

"Most of the time teams just looked to see where Whaley was and then ran the other way," Lutz said. "Offensively, all you had to do was find (Whaley) and that's where we were running."

The 5-10, 250-pound Akers played guard next to Whaley to form a potent one-two blocking tandem for White and other Ironton running backs. Akers also played defensive tackle.

Akers was a first team all-district pick.

Schug and Russell were first team all-district as they helped Rock Hill to a 6-4 record.

The 6-2, 215-pound Schug not only played defensive end, he caught 12 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns as a tight end.

Russell, a 6-foot, 170-pounder, ran for 820 yards and eight touchdowns in eight games before a knee injury ended his season prematurely. He averaged 8.5 yards per carry.

A complete list of the All-Ohio team can be found under "Scoreboard" on Page 10.

Record-setting quarterback Benny Mauk of Kenton and standout running back Raymond Williams of Cleveland Benedictine were the top award winners on the Associated Press Division III and IV teams.

In Division IV, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Mauk was selected as offensive player of the year after setting a national record for passing yards in a career, with 17,223 heading into this weekend's state championship game against Portsmouth West.

Mauk has already committed to Wake Forest.

Williams, a 5-11, 174-pound junior, has rushed for 3,149 yards this season as Benedictine prepares for the Division III state championship this weekend.