Fighting Tigers maul Marietta
MARIETTA — The Ironton Fighting Tigers are like Bruce Springsteen. “Baby, we were born to run.”
Even though the Boss’ lyrics weren’t playing in their head, Ironton ran wild Friday night with 67 rushes for 453 yards in a 61-20 spanking of the Marietta Tigers in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.
“We’ve got some backs who can run and we did a good job blocking their defensive scheme,” said Ironton coach Bob Lutz. “Any time we have that kind of success running the ball, we’re going to keep coming at you.”
Chance Freeman had a career-best 117 yards on nine carries and scored two touchdowns while fullback Tony Murphy ran for 100 yards on 19 carries and also scored twice.
Ironton (4-2, 3-0) finished with 503 total yards as Jon Schweickart threw for 50 yards and a touchdown.
The first team defense held Marietta’s high-powered offense to 67 yards passing and 2 net yards rushing. Marietta (3-3, 2-1) finished the game with 222 total yards including 203 through the air.
Ironton registered three sacks on Marietta quarterback Cody Westbrook, two by Geoff White and one by Jon Monnig.
“We did a pretty good job getting pressure on the quarterback and the secondary did a good job getting where they’re supposed to be,” said Lutz.
It didn’t take long for Ironton to establish its dominance in the running game.
Marietta had a three-and-out to start the game and then Ironton went on a 63-yard, 12-play drive capped by Murphy’s 5-yard run. Schweickart’s kick made it 7-0.
An interception by Bub Johnson gave Ironton back the ball at the Marietta 31.Eight running plays later Schweickart scored from 1-yard out and it was 13-0.
A 38-yard run by Freeman jump-started the next drive that end on a 10-yard run by Murphy. Freeman ran for the conversion and it was 21-0.
Marietta fumbled on its next play thanks to a hit by Wes Runyon and Lukas Morris pounded on the ball at the 23.
It took Ironton just one play to score as Schweickart found Marc Carter alone in the end zone and the lead was 27-0.
A 28-yard punt return by Carter put the ball at the Marietta 19 and three plays later Freeman scooted 10 yards for the touchdown. He also ran for the conversion and it was 35-0.
A 29-yard pass to Cole Biehl and a 23-yard toss to Anthony Tabler moved Marietta to the Ironton 9-yard line with time running out in the half. Mike Shields went 5 yards for the touchdown with 36 seconds left and it was 35-6.
Freeman went 43 yards on the second play of the second half to set up his own 2-yard scoring run with 9:50 left in the third quarter to push the lead to 41-6.
The second team took over and Marietta was able to score on a 51-yard pass from Westbrook to Zane Eschbaugh. Westbrook threw to Shields for the conversion and it was 41-14.
Ironton answered with a 68-yard, 7-play drive that culminated with a 19-yar run by Keith Wetzel and the lead was 47-14.
Corey Dyer’s interception on the first play of the fourth quarter gave Ironton the ball at the 29. Ironton us an 18-yard run by Taville Osborne to ignite the 10-play drive that ended on a 10-yard run by J.P. Taylor. Osborne ran for the conversion and it was 55-14.
Marietta got a score on a 19-yad pass from Brian Miller to Morgan Wynn.
Ironton’s final score came on a 1-yard run by Justin Payne. The play was set up by Taylor’s 63-yard kickoff return.