Fighting Tigers zap Zanesville, 48-7
ZANESVILLE – Someone flipped the switch on the Ironton offense and it’s running on a full charge.
After scoring 49 points last week, the Fighting Tigers came roaring back with another big offensive performance Friday as they blasted the Zanesville Blue Devils 48-0 in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.
The Fighting Tigers racked up 353 total yards including 299 on the ground. The offensive outburst led to a 42-0 halftime lead.
“We’re getting better up front. We played great as a unit and they had a hard time trying to contain Dominic (Murphy) and Chad (Miller),” Ironton coach Merril Triplett Jr. said. “When we spread teams out and run the option and we can run our big fullback (Tony Murphy) at you, we’re hard to stop.”
Ironton, 6-3 and 4-2 in the SEOAL, has clinched a playoff berth and can possibly earn a home game with a win over Logan this Friday in the regular season finale at Tanks Memorial Stadium.
Logan, which is in the North Division, clinched the league title outright with a 24-0 win over Portsmouth on Friday.
Dominic Murphy ran 10 times for 118 yards and scored two touchdowns. Quarterback Chad Miller ran for 90 yards and threw for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Zanesville was led by fullback Anthony Scott with 113 yards on 21 carries, but 95 of his yards came in the first half on 16 carries. He has 18 yards the second half and 16 on one carry in the fourth quarter against the second team defense.
The Blue Devils had 201 total yards with only 74 yards in the second half. They had just 14 through the air.
“We moved (Andy) Colegrove to linebacker and (Bruce) Roach to defensive end and it was a great switch,” Triplett said. “Bruce can really put the heat on a quarterback.”
The scoring got off to an auspicious start when Zanesville quarterback Adam Young hit Lucas Graham with a short out pass for 8 yards. Ironton defensive back Chad Miller stripped the ball out of Graham’s hands and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown.
Craig Stamper kicked the first of six extra points and it was 7-0.
After holding on downs, Dominic Murphy took a punt and returned it 52 yards to the Blue Devils 10-yard line. After a penalty moved the ball 5 yards closer, Tony Murphy scored on a 3-yard run two plays later and it was 14-0.
Ironton went up 21-0 with a quick 3-play scoring drive capped by a 40-yard pass from Miller to Colegrove who caught the ball sandwiched between two defenders at the 20-yard line and outran them to the end zone.
Zanesville (4-5, 3-3) put together its only scoring threat of the half with 11-play, 43-yard drive to the Ironton 22-yad line. But a fourth down pass fell incomplete with 11:14 left in the half.
Ironton then marched 78 yards on eight plays with Dominic Murphy scooting 13 yards for the touchdown and a 28-0 lead.
Miller had two key runs of 22 and 17 yards to fuel the drive.
Following another Zanesville punt, Ironton used just four plays to score again.
An incomplete pass on first down was followed with Miller running for 6 yards. Dominic Murphy then ran 15 yards and on the next play got a key block from Bruce Roach and bolted 41 yards for the touchdown and a 35-0 lead.
On the Blue Devils ensuing play, Roach recovered a fumble at the 37 and eight plays later Tony Murphy pounded his way across the goal line from 1-yard out and it was 42-0.
Ironton’s final touchdown came on a 6-yad burst by Branden Sites just before the end of the third quarter that extended the lead to 48-0.
Zanesville avoided the shutout against the Ironton reserves on a 13-yard run by backup running back Kyle Melvin with only 3:17 to play.
Irn – Chad Miller 56 fumble recovery (Craig Stamper kick) 10:57
Irn – Tony Murphy 3 run (Craig Stamper kick) 7:46
Irn – Andy Colegrove 40 pass from Chad Miller (Craig Stamper kick) 4:28
Irn – Dominic Murphy 13 run (Craig Stamper kick) 8:08
Irn – Dominic Murphy 41 run (Craig Stamper kick) 2:25
Irn – Tony Murphy 1 run (Craig Stamper kick) 0:32
Irn – Branden Sites 6 run (kick failed) 0:32
Zvl – Kyle Melvin 13 run (Lucas Graham kick) 3:17
RUSHING-Ironton: Dominic Murphy 10-118, Chad Miller 9-90, Tony Murphy 10-34, Brandon Bazell 2-31, Branden Sites 2-7, Drew Kuehne 1-4, Taville Osborne 1-5, Donald Malone 2-6, Bub Johnson 1-5, Major Roach 2-minus 1; Zanesville: Anthony Scott 21-113, Adam Young 6-10, Chad Mealey 2-12, Kyle Melvin 8-44, Nate Kaufman 1-0, Chase Camp 1-8.
PASSING-Ironton: Chad Miller 2-5-0 54; Zanesville: Adam Young 4-10-0 14.
RECEIVING-Ironton: Andy Colegrove 1-40, T.J. Keith 1-14; Zanesville: Lucas Graham 2-14, Nate Kaufman 1-minus 1, Chad Mealey 1-1.