Mirror image awaits Ironton

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 20, 2005

The only way to tell the Ironton Fighting Tigers from the Belfry Pirates might be the color of their uniforms.

The two programs are not only similar in style but in success as they clash Friday night at Belfry's new field turf stadium. Both are 7-1 on the season.

&#8220They're almost a mirror image of us in a lot of ways,” Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. &#8220They play a similar offense with a fullhouse backfield, the same 5-2 defense, they're big, they like to run the football and they get better as the season goes along.”

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Ironton is 11-1 against Belfry as the series draws to a close, but the 17-14 loss came on the road in 1999.

The Fighting Tigers enter the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League next season.

Belfry won the Kentucky Class AA state championship the past two seasons. The Pirates lost one game each season, both to Ironton (28-0 in 2003 and 31-10 in 2004).

&#8220Belfry is always a good team. The consensus feeling among the coaches was last year Belfry was the best team we played. We've always had a tough time with them, especially at their place,” Lutz said.

The Pirates wishbone offense has Jordan Phillips (6-3, 160) at quarterback, Dustin May (6-2, 201) at fullback and Corey Chapman (5-9, 153) and Matt Maynard (6-1, 160) the halfbacks.

The tight end is Chad Steele (6-3, 207) while the split end duties are shared between Aaron Chapman (6-3, 220) and Devin Kohari (5-11, 135).

Up front is good size with Ronnie Edwards (6-1, 271) at center, Derek McCoy (5-10, 222) at right guard, either Bobby Burton (5-7, 199) or Richard Harris (5-5, 200) on the left size, Will Sutherland (6-2, 193) at right tackle with either Justin Gooslin (5-11, 209) or Matt Dotson (6-1, 348) on the left side.

&#8220Their backs run hard and they have some speed. Their running game has always been their bread and butter,” Lutz said.

On the defensive side, Burton or Dotson will be the nose guard. Gooslin or Dotson are at left tackle with Sutherland on the right side.

The ends are Chapman on the left side with either Steele or Gooslin on the other side. The linebackers are Tommy Church (5-10, 201) and May.

&#8220They have pretty good size on defense, but they really pursue to the football. They're pretty physical,” Lutz said.

The secondary has Maynard and Gerald Epling (5-6, 135) at the cornerbacks while Corey Chapman and Kohari are the safeties.