Ironton has all the answers for Belfry

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2004

The Ironton Fighting Tigers answered the Belfry Pirates. Then they gave their opponents a problem they couldn’t solve.

After Belfry tied the game to start the second half, Ironton answered with the go-ahead score and then kept on scoring in a 31-10 win Friday night at Tanks Memorial Stadium in a battle of unbeaten interstate powers.

"That was a tough game," Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. "We answered them after they scored, then we three-and-outed them which we hadn't done the whole ball game. We put points on the board and then they had to do something different than they wanted."

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Ironton led 10-3 at the half only to have Belfry tie the game to begin the second half.

The Pirates took the second half kickoff and drove 79 yards in 13 plays capped by Gary Childers' 2-yard scoring run with 5:44 left on the clock. Ronnie Edwards kicked the extra point and the game was tied at 10-10.

It didn't take Ironton long to answer.

After Jared Murphy picked up 3 yards on first down, Josh Adkins hit Darius Lewis with a swing pass and Lewis broke three tackles going down the sidelines as he went 60 yards for the touchdown.

Craig Stamper's extra point put Ironton up 17-10 with 4:39 on the clock.

"I just got the ball and turned and ran. I stiff-armed a guy and kept going," Lewis said. "They were a good team. Everybody showed up and made some plays for us."

Belfry punted on its next series and Ironton began another scoring drive.

An offsides penalty put the ball at the Pirates 43 and Murphy bolted 16 yards to the 27. Lewis had a 12-yard run and Murphy ran for 7 yards on two straight plays as the quarter end at the 2-yard line.

Marcus Williams scored on the first play of the fourth quarter and the lead was 24-10.

The ensuing kickoff bounced off a Belfry lineman and Ironton recovered at the Belfry 48. Seven plays later Adkins and Williams hooked up on a 31-yard pass play and it was 31-10 with 8:02 left in the game.

"I knew if Josh got the ball to me I'd score. Greg (Igo) got a block and there was no (defender) in front of me. They all went to Darius," Williams said.

Needing to score, Belfry went to the air on first down but quarterback Adam Warren was picked off by Ironton's Shane Kerns.

After Ironton failed to move the ball and punt, the Pirates got the ball at the 39 but fumbled it away to Ironton two plays later and virtually end any comeback hopes.

Ironton, 9-0, came into the game ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Division IV poll. Belfry, 8-1, was No. 2 in the Class AA poll in Kentucky.

"It was a good win against a good team," Lutz said. "They had a couple of good backs and all that size. It's a good win going into Columbus DeSales."

The Fighting Tigers close out the regular season next Friday at Division III power DeSales.

Both teams scored on their first possessions of the game.

The Fighting Tigers went 74 yards to score on the opening series. A 37-yard pass from Adkins to Williams got the ball to the Pirates 25 and Lewis scored on the next play to make it 7-0.

The Pirates countered with a 55-yard, 11-play march capped by Edward's 32-yard field goal with 4:36 left in the first quarter to get within 7-3.

Belfry drove to the Ironton 13-yard line only to fumble the ball away and the Fighting Tigers Shane Kerns recovered at the 3-yard line.

Ironton then drove all the way to the Belfry 10-yard line where the drive stalled. Stamper kicked his first career field goal, a 27-yard with just 10 seconds left in the half and the lead was 10-3.

"We decided the last two games to make an effort to kick the ball. Our freshman kicker did pretty good, and we have a sophomore longsnapper (Andy Colegrove) who did a good job," Lutz said.

The Fighting Tigers finished with 335 total yards including 207 on the ground. Murphy ran 13 times for 86 yards and Lewis had 82 on 15 attempts.

Adkins completed 3 of 5 passes for 128 yards.

Belfry got 177 of its 189 yards on the ground. Howard had 106 yards on 14 attempts and David Jones 49 on 15 rushes.



First Quarter

Irn - Darius Lewis 25 run (Craig Stamper kick) 9:53

Bel - Ronnie Edwards 32 FG


Second Quarter

Irn - Craig Stamper 27 FG


Third Quarter

Bel - Gary Childers 2 run (Ronnie Edwards kick) 5:44

Irn - Darius Lewis 60 pass from Josh Adkins (Craig Stamper kick) 4:39

Fourth Quarter

Irn - Marcus Williams 2 run (Craig Stamper kick) 11:57

Irn - Marcus Williams 31 pass from Josh Adkins (Craig Stamper kick) 8:02



First downs1014


Passing yards12128

Total yards189335






Individual Leaders

RUSHING – Belfry: Doug Howard 14-106, David Jones 15-49, Gary Childers 5-18, Adam Warren 3-minus 2, Dustin May 1-2, Corey Chapman 1-2, Heath Varney 1-2. Ironton: Jared Murphy 13-86, Darius Lewis 15-82, Marcus Williams 9-37, Josh Adkins 5-minus 3, Andrew Walker 1-5.

PASSING – Belfry: Adam Warren 2-4-1

12. Ironton: Josh Adkins: 3-5-0


RECEIVING – Belfry: David Jones 2-12. Ironton: Marcus Williams 2-68, Darius Lewis 1-60.