Ironton dominates Trojans

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005

Nice guys finish 27 points ahead.

One the verge of a major blowout, Ironton coach Bob Lutz took mercy and pulled his starters to begin the second half.

The Portsmouth Trojans took advantage of Lutz's kindness to narrow the gap, but a return of the starters for an insurance score helped the Fighting Tigers routed their rivals 54-27 Friday night at Tanks Memorial Stadium.

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&#8221We were up 41-6 at the half so we wanted to get our starters out. You're always concerned about injuries in that situation,“ Lutz said. &#8221We were disappointed that our second team didn't do a better job than they did.“

Portsmouth's first team scored three touchdowns against the Ironton reserves and got within 41-27.

But the starters returned and immediately drove 61 yards in 11 plays to extend the lead to 48-27.

When Portsmouth's second team entered the game with three minutes left, Ironton's second team returned and drove 54 yards capped by Dominic Murphy's 16-yard scoring run with 15 seconds to play.

Between the second team appearances, Ironton's first unit overwhelmed the young Trojans.

&#8221We dominated the game on both sides of the ball,“ Lutz said. &#8221We pretty much did what we wanted on offense.“

Darius Lewis ran 19 times for a season-high 196 yards and scored four touchdowns. Jared Murphy had 102 yards on 10 carries and two scores.

Quarterback Chad Miller added 47 yards on just four carries and Eric Layne ran seven times for 45 yards. Ironton had 464 total yards, all on the ground.

&#8221We've got four good backs. They ran hard. Lewis and Murphy are hard runners, but Layne runs hard and Miller can make things happen with the ball in

his hands,“ Lutz said.

Ironton (7-1) scored on the opening possession, going 58 yards in six plays. Lewis ran 29 yards for the score and Craig Stamper's conversion kick made it 7-0.

Following a punt, Ironton went 45 yards in six plays as Miller scored on a 1-yard run and it was 14-0.

It took Ironton just one play to score on its next possession as Murphy outran the Trojans defense 69 yards for a touchdown and it was 21-0.

But Portsmouth managed a touchdown on its next series as Shane Porter found A.J. Johnson behind the secondary for a 53-yard scoring strike and it was 21-6.

&#8221Other than the long pass and one time the quarterback scrambled and an option, we pretty much shut down their offense,“ Lutz said.

The Fighting Tigers got the touchdown back five plays later as Murphy powered his way into the end zone from 10 yards out and it was 28-6.

Lewis had two scoring runs in the second quarter covering 8 and 32 yards to make it 41-6 at the half.

Porter ran 25 yards for a touchdown and threw a pair of 8-yard touchdown passes to Troy Parker as Portsmouth got with 41-27 with 11:53 left in the game.

That's when the first team returned to the field and dominance.

The Fighting Tigers play at Belfry, Ky., next Friday.