Tigers powering up for Patriot game

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It’s time to power up.

When the Ironton Fighting Tigers meet the Olentangy Liberty Patriots for the first time in school history, power football will be the order of the day.

Ironton will bring its smashmouth style to Liberty which prefers a wing-T offense that prefers the running game as well.

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“They have a nice looking team,” Ironton coach Merril Triplett Jr. said of the Patriots. “They run an offense similar to Wheelersburg. They have good speed and a big, strong fullback who runs hard.”

The fullback is senior Ridge Riebold, a 6-foot, 210-pound returning starter. Riebold ran for just under 1,000 yards last season as he helped the Patriots to a second straight Division II postseason playoff berth.

Gone from last season is playmaking quarterback and safety Kyle Endicott. Taking over is 5-9, 160-pound Ryan Cypret.

“Their quarterback runs the ball well. They have good speed in the backfield and they have great timing,” Triplett said.

The other backs are Sean Williams (5-10, 180), Ryan Taele (6-0, 175) and Allen Eggleston (5-8, 170).

The tight end is Chris Sansbury (6-1, 200) and the flanker Sam Hilty (6-2, 180).

Up front the offensive line is led by senior tackle Jonathan Futryk (6-1, 220) and right guard Michael Hilty (6-4, 210).

The center is Scott Vogel (5-10, 170) with Mark Deboer (5-10, 220) the left guard and Michael Mohler (6-4, 240) his running mate at left tackle.

Futryk, Riebold, Williams, Sansbury and Micheal Hilty are all returning starters.

“(Futryk) is a super right tackle,” Triplett said.

The Patriots use a 3-5 defensive front led by Riebold at middle linebacker and the inside trio of Deboer at nose guard and Ryan Pettis (6-3, 220) and Deboer at the tackles.

The other inside linebacker is Tyler Eaton (6-0, 215) with Fred Messmer (5-8, 160) shifting from cornerback to inside linebacker.

The outside linebackers are Wes Richardson (5-10,175) and Troy Bowman (6-0, 180).

“Their linebackers hurry to the football,” Triplett said. “They have three good down linemen who disrupt things. Their whole defense swarms to the ball.”

The other cornerback is Kyle Kready (5-10, 160) with Sam Hilty and Eggleston the safeties.

Ironton opened the season with a 24-21 win over rival Wheelersburg while Liberty crushed Whetstone 50-0.