Ironton faces unconventional Lions defense

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2003

First, there was the Bears 46 defense. The Cleveland Browns threw a helter skelter defense as a surprise for a play or two.

Now, it's the 3-5.

Ironton thinks it has seen every type of defense known, but that won't be the case Friday night when the Fighting Tigers try to solve the Boyd County Lions' 3-5 defense.

Email newsletter signup

"We've never seen it before, and it's hard to simulate in practice," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. "It can cause a lot of confusion and missed blocking assignments. We've got our work cut out for us."

The front three features 6-foot-3, 300-pound Denver Wells at nose guard. The tackles are Ben Sheffey (5-11, 225) and Tom McClelland (5-10, 220).

"Wells is a load and Sheffey is their best defensive player. It's a good front," Lutz said.

The linebackers across the board from left to right are Chris Crooks (5-6, 175), Daniels Adams (5-10, 200), Kaleb Meenach (6-0, 200), Jimmy Adams (6-0, 195) and Jake Hughes (6-1, 205).

The secondary has Heath Porter (5-10, 200) and Logan Thornberry (5-10, 160) at the corners with Ryan Meenach (6-1, 190) at safety.

Kaleb Meenach and Hughes are the only two player who flip over and play offense, too.

Hughes is the tailback and joins fullback Brennan Sargent (5-10, 185) and quarterback Joe Mullins (6-0, 185) in the backfield.

"Hughes was the Kentucky player of the year in the area last year. He's dangerous when he gets the ball in his hands," Lutz said. "Mullins is listed as one of the top quarterbacks in the state. They have some weapons. They've had some bad breaks. They're 1-3 and they should probably be 3-1."

The Lions opened with a stunning 18-0 shutout of Belfry. They lost to Spring Valley, W.Va., 21-20 in overtime and then lost 6-0 to Lexington Lafayette. Russell beat Boyd County 31-19 last week.

Ironton is 4-0 as it begins a three-game road swing.

"We didn't play that well last week, but we won. We need to keep moving forward and try to get better each week. With the defenses and all the offensive formations Boyd gives you, we'll have to be ready to play," Lutz said.