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Ironton looks to bounce back

Things have got to get better, right?

After losing 39-6 in their opener last week, the Ironton Fighting Tigers are looking to bounce back at home this Friday.

Unfortunately, they’ll try to rebound against the Olentangy Liberty Patriots.

“We played about as bad as we can play last week,” said Ironton coach Bob Lutz.

“We should have charged our guys admission last week. All we did was stand around and watch the game. We can’t do that this week. This team may be better than Wheelersburg.”

Olentangy, a 28-0 winner over Westerville North, is led by 5-foot-9, 160-pound senior quarterback Ryan Cypret.

Cypret was at the helm last season of the spread offense when Liberty held on to beat Ironton 20-14. The Patriots finished the season 9-2 and qualified for the Division II playoffs for the third straight time.

“Their quarterback is a good athlete. He can run or throw and he has plenty of receivers who can catch the ball. He makes them go,” said Lutz.

The split ends are Dustin Welch (5-11,180) and Trevor Vanscay (6-1, 180). Cameron Whitner (5-7, 160) and Kyle Krendy (5-10, 170) are the flankers.

The fullback is Tyler Eaton (6-0, 210) Allen Eggleston (5-8, 180) is the tailback.

“They mix it up,” said Lutz. “They like to spread you out, but they’ll run power at you or run the sweep. And they like to throw the ball. They keep you off-balance.”

The offensive line has Michael Hilty (6-4, 230) and Ross Fleming (6-3, 225) at the tackles, Trevor Shirey (6-1,195) and David Arra (6-0, 200) at the guards and Brett Coffey (6-0,195) at center.

The defense has Anthony Zarate (6-0, 250) on the nose with Trevor Shirey (6-1, 195) and Hilty at the tackles. Sitting behind the defensive line are linebackers Ross Fleming (6-3, 225), Chris Berridge (5-11, 190), Jason Kissell (5-11, 180), Eaton, and Coffey.

In the secondary are Whitner and Kready at the corners and Dustin Welch (5-11, 180) at safety.

“Their defense runs to the ball. They’re not real big, but they’re quick,” said Lutz. “We had problems with that last week. We have to block it better or we’ll be in for a long night.”

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.