Fighting Tigers await shootout with Bellaire

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bring plenty of ammunition.

The Ironton vs. Bellaire Division IV Region 15 championship game has all the makings of an offensive shootout when they meet at 7 p.m. Saturday at Ohio University's Peden Stadium.

Each team has plenty of offensive weapons that put plenty of pressure on the defenses.

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Bellaire is led by senior quarterback Nate Davis (6-3, 215). On the season, Davis is 145 of 278 passing for 2,377 yards and 34 touchdowns. He has thrown just eight interceptions and he has been sacked only three times.

&#8220He's the best quarterback we've seen all season,” Ironton coach Bob Lutz said. &#8220But they can run the ball as well. It's not like they throw the ball on every down. They mix it up and keep pressure on your defense.”

The Bellaire (12-)) ground game is led by Jayson Keyser with 494 yards on 88 attempts. Artis Johnson (5-7, 185) has rushed 79 times for 465 yards and eight scores and Davis has 63 attempts for 364 yards and six TDs.

Nine different players have been on the receiving end of a Davis pass.

Trey Masciarelli (5-9, 155) is a speedster who has 28 receptions for 605 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Eric Padgett (5-11, 160)

is next with 20 receptions for 371 yards.

Todd Coyne has 21 receptions for 371 net yards and three scores and Johnson has caught 21 passes out of the backfield to the tune of 239 yards and a score.

&#8220Bellaire has a bunch of guys who can run and catch catch. They spread the ball around,” Lutz said.

Ironton (10-2) pounds away at its opponents behind the running tandem of Darius Lewis and Jared Murphy.

Lewis, who will play at Marshall next year, has carried 170 times for 1,264 yards and 20 touchdowns. Murphy has 744 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Eric Layne, known mainly for his blocking, has 443

yards on 71 attempts and he has scored four touchdowns.

Quarterback Chad Miller is 26 of 43 passing for 559 yards. He has thrown just three interceptions.

Brandon Walker has 13 receptions for 390 yards and four touchdown.

The winner of Saturday's game advances to the state semifinals to play the winner of either the Germantown Valley View and Lemon-Monroe game or the Youngstown Mooney vs. Canton Central Catholic winner.

Bellaire has won the last three meetings between the two schools. The Big Reds won 20-14 in overtime two years ago in a game marred by controversial calls.