Ironton to face same old DeSales

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005

So just how good can a 5-4 team be?

When it's the Columbus St. Francis DeSales Stallions, pretty darn good.

The Stallions are 5-4 after a 23-7 win over Cincinnati McNicholas last week, but don't let the record fool you. It doesn't Ironton Fighting Tigers head coach Bob Lutz.

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&#8220They're always 5-4 or 6-3 when we play them, but you just have to look at their schedule. It's a murderer's row. They're a division three school playing a division one schedule,” Lutz said.

On the season, DeSales has played three teams each in Division I , II and III. The schedule includes the likes of Cincinnati Moeller, Toledo St. John's, Toledo St. Francis, Kettering Archbishop Alter and rival Columbus Bishop Watterson.

Ironton, 8-1, had DeSales on the ropes last season only to let them block a punt that led to a late touchdown and a 17-14 lead.

The Fighting Tigers then drove inside the 30-yard line only to fumble the ball away and DeSales was able to run out the clock.

Although leading rusher Chris Thomas isn't expected to play due to an injury, the Stallions don't miss a beat with Justin Moore (6-0, 215) in the backfield.

Quarterback Matt Mangini (6-0, 190) returns and his ability to run makes him a double threat along with his passing skills.

The split ends are Carmen Carfagna (6-0,170) and Drew McNally (6-0, 160) while the slotbacks are Joey Rodenfels (5-8, 180) and Will Keuchler (6-0, 200).

&#8220Moore is a big, strong runner. He's as good a fullback as we've seen,” Lutz said. &#8220Mangini is a good athlete and he's a strong runner. All their skill kids can run and they have pretty good size.”

The key for DeSales each season is the interior line on both sides of the football.

Offensively, Matt Williamson (6-1, 225) is the center, Matt Tanner (6-2, 290) and Chris Mazzocco (5-9, 205) the guards, and Ben Harden (6-3, 265) and Tim Heffernan (6-1, 265) the tackles.

&#8220It's just like every year we play them. All their kids are strong and physical. They like to line up and come right at you,” Lutz said.

Flipping over to the defensive side, the Stallions use a 5-2 alignment that is just like the rest of their game: Strong and physical.

&#8220You can tell they have a bunch of wrestlers the way they play you up front,” Lutz said.

Trent Sheumaker (6-0, 205) is the nose guard, Alex Stewart (6-2, 265) and Williamson the tackles, and Justin Herbert (6-0,188) and David Knapke (6-6, 220) the ends.

Keuchler and Moore are the linebackers, Mangini and Matt Kuhn (5-9, 168) the corners with Carfagna and David Vargo (5-7, 160) the safeties.

Kickoff for the senior night game is 7:30 p.m. Friday.