Ironton moves in right direction to beat West

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

WEST PORTSMOUTH - After watching their game go south in the first half, Ironton ran east and west in the second half

to send the score north.

Lacking intensity the first half, Ironton fumbled the ball four times and was flagged for four penalties. But a halftime wakeup call from coach Bob Lutz got the Fighting Tigers running in the right direction as they rallied past the Portsmouth West Senators 27-13 Friday.

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&#8221That was about as bad of a first half as we've played all year. We were just going through the motions,“ Lutz said.

&#8221We came out the second half and picked up our intensity and just started knocking them off the ball. Once we started controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, everything took care of itself.“

Case in point.

West standout running back Jerrod Pendleton had 97 yards on 15 carries in the first half plus a 49-yard punt return for a touchdown. In the second half, Ironton's defense held Pendleton to 8 yards on 13 carries.

Conversely, Ironton standout running back Darius Lewis had just 2 net yards at the half and finished with 119 yards on 16 carries and scored three touchdowns.

Ironton had 239 yards on the ground with fullback Jared Murphy running 11 times for 86 yards. Quarterback Chad Miller was 4 of 5 for 86 yards and a touchdown.

West, averaging 374 total yards offense per game, had 208 but just 79 in the second half.

After a scoreless first quarter, Ironton was forced to punt on the fourth play of the second quarter.

As the 41-yard punt bounced around near midfield, Ironton's coverage team began to relax. Pendleton seized the opportunity as the ball bounced up in his arms and he returned the kick 49 yards for a touchdown. Mat Auger's conversion kick made it 7-0.

Following an exchange of punts, Ironton began its next possession at its own 17. A 48-yard pass play to Lewis got the ball to the West 23. Three plays later Miller threw to Brandon Walker who made a diving catch in the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown reception. Craig Stamper's conversion kick tied the game with just 46 seconds left in the half.

But on the ensuing possession, Ironton's prevent defense failed. Pendleton ran 56 yards on a simple handoff to the Ironton 8-yard line. Two plays later Seevers threw to Auger for a 2-yard scoring strike and West led 13-7 with 15 seconds left.

&#8221We relaxed on the punt return and we did a horrible job of tackling on the long run at the end of the half,“ Lutz said.

Then came the second half.

Dominic Murphy ran the kickoff back 56 yards tot he West 39, but the drive stalled and even lost ground to the 44.

West couldn't move the ball and shanked a 19-yard punt to the 35. Jared Murphy had a strong 16-yard run to the 4-yard line and Lewis powered his way into the end zone on the next play as Ironton tied the game with 5:58 on the block.

Ironton fumbled the ball away on its next possession only to have Miller intercept a pass and give Ironton the ball at the 44.

Jared Murphy ran 9 yards and then Lewis broke several tackles on his way to a 47-yard scoring run that gave Ironton a 20-13 lead.

West managed to drive tot he Ironton 6-yard line with the aid of two controversial facemask penalties that kept the drive alive, but Pendleton fumbled a pitch out and not only lost 14 yards on the play but the ball as well when Dominic Murphy recovered the ball at the 20-yard line.

Jared Murphy had a 21-yard run and Lewis added a 26-yard jaunt as Ironton reached the 5-yard line six plays later. Lewis then ran over a tackler as he scored on the next play and the lead was 27-13 with 6:03 to play.

The Fighting Tigers improved to 6-1 with the win and virtually secured a postseason playoff berth. West dropped to 5-2.


Ports. West01300=13

Second Quarter

PW – Jerrod Pendleton 49 punt return (Mat Auger kick) 10:18

Irn – Brandon Walker 33 pass from Chad Miller (Craig Stamper kick) 0:46

PW – Mat Auger 2 pass from Austin Seevers (kick failed) 0:15

Third Quarter

Irn – Darius Lewis 4 run (kick failed) 5:58

Irn – Darius Lewis 47 run (Craig Stamper kick) 2:54

Fourth Quarter

Irn – Darius Lewis 5 run (Craig Stamper kick) 6:03



First downs1511


Passing yards8672

Total yards325208






Individual Leaders

RUSHING – Ironton: Darius Lewis 16-119, Jared Murphy 11-86, Eric Layne 5-34, Chad Miller 8-0; Portsmouth West: Jerrod Pendleton 29-114, Kyle Ruggles 4-11, Sean Bower 1-8, Austin Seevers 9-3.

PASSING – Ironton: Chad Miller 4-5-0 86; Portsmouth West: Austin Seevers 6-9-1 72.

RECEIVING – Ironton: Darius Lewis 2-44, Brandon Walker 2-42; Portsmouth West: Sean Bower 1-24, Kyle Ruggles 2-29, Mat Auger 3-19.