Pride at stake in Ironton vs. Logan

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

The league championship might have been decided officially, but there’s some unofficial work left to do.

Logan is the champion of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League. The Chieftains are 6-0 in the league and own a two-game lead with one game to play.

However, the league title will seem somewhat hollow without a win Friday against the Ironton Fighting Tigers.

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Although Ironton can’t win the league, the Fighting Tigers have plenty at stake.

“This game will be about pride. It’s the last home game and the last time the seniors will get to play at home. This is a great place to play and I’m sure the seniors would like to play well in their last game in this stadium,” Ironton coach Merril Triplett Jr. said.

Logan is a member of the North Division of the SEOAL and plays Zanesville, Marietta, Warren and Athens plus three teams from the South, Gallipolis, Portsmouth and Ironton. The Chieftains played Chillicothe in week two as a non-league game and lost 31-21.

The SEOAL requires teams to play only seven of the 10 league teams.

While Ironton remains a target for Logan, the Fighting Tigers are just looking for a win in order to keep their hopes alive for a home game when the postseason playoffs begin next Friday. Logan needs a win to secure a spot in the Division I playoffs.

Ironton, 6-3 and 4-2 in the SEOAL, will face another strong running team for the second straight week.

Ironton blasted Zanesville 48-7 last week, but coach Triplett knows Logan’s running game is much more potent.

Before the season, running back Justin Frye, a 5-10, 160-pound junior, wasn’t among the leading candidates to take over the starting tailback job.

But Frye earned the starting job and has been the main weapon as Logan has gone 7-2.

Frye had five straight games of 200 yards rushing before settling for 190 yards on 36 carries in last week’s 24-0 win over Portsmouth when he was forced to leave in the third quarter with an ankle injury.

“It’ll be a slugfest. Both teams like to run the ball and they’re like us. They like to run right you,” Triplett said.

The key to the running game is the offensive line led by right tackle Cameron Kiger (6-2, 275) and left tackle Max Delaplane (5-9, 240). Also up front are center Nick Amyx (6-5, 210), son of head coach Dale Amyx, and guards Bryce Bumgardner (5-11, 230) and Jesse Wilson (5-10, 235).

The tight end is Tony Ellis (6-2, 225).

“They block to perfection and their tailback does a good job following his blocks. Their quarterback throws good, short routes,” Triplett said.

“Frye runs the ball eight out of 10 plays. He’s a good runner. But their backup (Clay Morgan) isn’t too bad, either.”

Joining Frye in the backfield is fullback Zak Gompf (5-11, 195) and quarterback Michael Angle (6-0, 180). The wide receivers are Lucas Wright (5-10, 185) and Ashton Sundgren (5-11, 155).

Logan likes to use a 5-3 alignment on defense, especially against a run-oriented offense such as Ironton.

“They really fly to the football,” Triplett said.

The nose guard is Cary Maclaughlin (5-8, 170), the tackles Bumgardner and Kiger and the ends Gompf and either Ellis or Jon Neff (6-1, 190).

Corey Kissling (5-8, 170) is the middle linebacker with Zach Adams (6-1, 155) and Mark Potter (5-10, 200) on the outside.

In the secondary are cornerbacks Cody Bower (5-8, 155) and Seth Moritz (5-11, 155) with Wright the safety.