Lawrence County brings familiar problems to Ironton

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2005

This sounds very familiar.

And ominous.

A few weeks ago, the Ironton Fighting Tigers got a big win over Gallipolis, then got upset the next week at Jackson, a team with size and power running.

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Ironton is coming off a thrilling win over rival Ashland 27-26 and now must take on the Lawrence County (Ky.) Bulldogs, another team with size and power, plus two talented quarterbacks.

The Bulldogs are just 2-3, but Ironton coach Bob Lutz isn't about to take them lightly.

"You can't judge them on their record," Lutz said. "They have a lot of the people we played last year back, and they were very aggressive and they would hit you.

"Their quarterbacks are good athletes who can run and throw which is a big problem, and they have some good running backs that get in there behind a big line that makes it hard to tackle them."

The quarterback tandem of Cory Humphrey (5-9, 140) and Jason Spradlin (6-2, 165) share the quarterback job. However, Spradlin also plays wide receiver and has big-play capabilities.

The fullback job is split between Brent Fyffe (5-11, 180) and Coty Roberts (5-6, 170). The tailback is Morgan Roberts (5-8, 160).

Tyler Maynard (5-10,185) is the tight end, Tim Hayes (6-0, 180) the flanker and Robert Butcher (6-0, 165) joins Spradlin at split end.

Across the offensive line is center Steven Carter (5-8, 180), the guards Josh Ferguson (5-11,190) and Andrew Hogan (6-0, 275) while the tackles are Doug Thompson (6-4, 325) and Kyle Carter (6-3, 268).

Spradlin, Carter, Hogan, Ferguson, Thompson and Morgan Roberts are all returning starters.

'They can pound the ball at you or they will spread the field and throw the ball. They give you a lot to prepare for," Lutz said.

The Bulldogs defense is geared to stop the run which is the perfect scheme against Ironton (4-1) and its run-oriented offense.

Ferguson is the nose guard in the 5-3 alignment with Carter at one tackle and either James Terry (5-9, 227) or Bryan Scarberry (5-10, 200) on the other side.

Nathaniel Davis (6-2, 217) is one end with Hogan and Jason Delong (5-9, 246) on the left side.

Fyffe is the middle linebacker and is flanked by Larry Fitzpatrick (5-8,172) on the left side and either Aaron Smith (5-10, 180) or Justin Staniford (5-6, 160) on the right side.

The secondary has Tim Cantrell (5-8, 150) and Dave Michael (6-1, 159) the cornerbacks and Butcher the safety.

"They like to come after you. They remind me a lot of Gallipolis in the way they change defenses and come after you. They have good size in the right places and speed and quickness on the perimeter," Lutz said.