Ironton looks for quiet Knights

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Chillicothe Cavaliers have more to offer than quarterback Caleb Knights.

It just doesn’t seem that way.

While Knights gets all the focus of defenses, Ironton coach Bob Lutz said the Cavaliers will bring more than a than just a one-man team into Tanks Stadium Friday for a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

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“They have a really good quarterback and some good receivers, but the run the ball more than you think and they have some good runners,” said Lutz.

“They like to use a couple of running back and both of them can hurt you. They have a lot of formations and they have good balance in their running and passing game.”

Heading the running game are halfbacks Ron Smith (6-2, 193) and sophomore Donta Thompson ((6-0, 168). Also in the mix is senior fullback Zach Ray (6-1, 226).

Knights, a 6-foot-2, 171-pound junior, threw for more than 300 yards last season as Chillicothe rolled past Ironton 48-14.

An All-Ohio selection last season, Knights has been the key man in the Cavaliers offense. In beating Gallipolis 17-14 for its first win last week, Knights was 7 of 14 passing for 59 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He also ran for 37 of the Cavs’ 106 rushing yards.

Two weeks ago Chillicothe lost 43-7 loss to Big Walnut which is unbeaten and ranked fourth in the Associated Press Division III poll.

In a 47-18 loss to Logan, Knights was 29 of 47 for 278 yards. The Cavs lost 21-7 to Columbus Brookhaven in their opener with Knights hitting 13 of 20 passes for 141 yards.

“They’ve played a tough schedule,” said Lutz. “Brookhaven is always tough, Logan is picked to win our league, Big Walnut has been a playoff team, and Gallipolis always has some athletes.”

Ironton is now 2-2 after a 20-14 overtime win Jackson.

Helping to make the offense work is a big offensive line that features center Danny Russell (5-11, 223), guards Tyler Dunkle (6-4, 247) and Nate Freeman (5-11, 269), and tackles Ansel Benson (6-1, 267) and J.T. Gray (5-10, 266).

The receiving corps is led by Jordan Benson (6-3, 196) and James VanVoorhis (6-3, 186) at the split ends while Kevin Scott (5-9, 158) and Alex Grow (5-10, 172) are the slot backs.

“They spread the ball around. You can’t lock in on one receiver,” said said Lutz. “They have a lot of players back on both sides of the ball.”

Tyler Vest (6-4, 291) is the nose guard on defense with Corbin Tanner (6-1, 226) and Curt Smith (6-1, 279) the tackles. Nathan Woodworth (6-4, 219) and Thompson are the ends.

The linebackers are Zach Ray (6-1, 226) and Shay Netter (6-2, 203), Grow and Dom Whitehurst (5-10, 178) are the corners with Smith and Jordan Benson the safeties.