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Fighting Tigers break speed limit against Jackson

IRONTON — Speed kills.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers used its decisive speed advantage to generate big plays on the ground and through the air as they routed the Jackson Ironmen 48-20 Friday in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League opener.

“We felt we were stronger and faster,” Ironton coach Merril Triplett Jr. said. “Our line prove they were the best line.”

Ironton amassed 413 total yards with 272 coming on the ground. Quarterback Drew Kuehne was 7 of 10 passing for 141 yards and Marc Carter caught four passes for 104 yards and two TDs.

“They looked great in practice this week. We knew we could throw. Those kids threw the ball all summer,” Triplett said.

Chad Miller ran 11 times for 121 yards and Dominic Murphy had 75 yards on eight carries. Each scored twice.

The Fighting Tigers got on the scoreboard early thanks to excellent field position when Jackson muffed the opening kickoff and had to start at its own 1-yard line.

On fourth down at the 8, Jackson punted and Murphy ran the punt back 18 yards to the 20. Six plays later Murphy scored from 1-yard out and Craig Stamper’s kick made it 7-0 at the 7:07 mark.

Ironton (3-1, 1-0) exploded for 28 points in the second quarter thanks to the big play.

On the third play of Ironton’s second possession and the second play of the second quarter, Murphy bolted 54 yards for a touchdown and it was 14-0.

Jackson (2-2, 0-1) fumbled on the first play following the kickoff and Josh Dyer recovered for Ironton at the 41.

An 18-yard pass from Kuehne to Carter got the ball to the 21 and three plays later the duo hooked up on a 17-yard touchdown pass and it was 21-0.

“We were looking to get the ball to Marc,” Kuehne said. “Our line was great. That’s the best pass protection I’ve had. I had time to get off every pass.”

After another Jackson punt, Ironton used five plays to get to the Jackson 48 including a 21-yard toss to Carter. It was Kuehne to Carter for 48 yards and a touchdown that extended the lead to 28-0.

“Drew and I know each other. We have good chemistry. We just read the defenders well together,” Carter said.

Ironton got the ball back at the Jackson 49 and used a 28-yard pass to Murphy to get to the 30. Four plays later, Kuehne scrambled 18 yards to score with just 26 seconds to play in the half.

The Fighting Tigers scored on their second possession of the third quarter when Miller went 20 yards for a touchdown to make it 42-0.

“We knew across the front they were big. We knew they had a good package to stop the (T-formation) from last year, so we tried to spead them out,” Triplett said.

The 28-yard, 3-play drive was set up by a 6-yard Jackson punt that deflected off the up back.

Jackson got on the scoreboard when Colin Wayland ran 15 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter. Justin Mullins kicked the extra point.

Wayland recovered an Ironton fumble at the 6-yard line and Zane Holzapfel threw a 6-yard TD pass to Barry Tanner to make it 42-14.

But Ironton put the game away when Miller shook free on a 52-yard scoring run with 9:35 left and it was 42-14.