Blue Devils bringing speed

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 29, 2007

It has been said that speed kills. If that is true, Zanesville running back Bryan Gaiters should be on the 10 most wanted list.

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound speedster has been rewriting the record book for Zanesville after missing most of last season with a broken leg.

“He can fly,” said Ironton coach Bob Lutz who must devise a way to slow down the talented runner as the Fighting Tigers play host to Zanesville Friday night in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

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Last week in a 49-7 win over Marietta, Gaiters set a new school single-game rushing record with 320 yards on 26 attempts and he scored five touchdowns. He broke the record on his fifth score, a 22-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.

The Blue Devils ran for 415 yards as a team with junior fullback Anthony Scott (5-8, 245) adding 75 yards.

Besides Gaiters, the offense has another explosive weapon in Anthony “Antman” Chandler, 5-7, 145-pound senior wide receiver.

“With Chandler on the outside, you can’t just focus all your attention on Gaiters. They’re both capable of taking it the distance anywhere on the field,” said Lutz.

Senior Lucas Graham (6-1,175) was the team’s leading receiver last season as Chandler also sat out with a broken leg suffered in week two.

Wingback Nate Kaufman (5-10, 160) is a speedster along as is backup J.T. Bunting (5-7, 170).

One reason for the strong running game is an experienced offensive line.

Richard Anderson (5-11, 225) is back at center, Brandon Rollins (5-10, 215) is at right guard with Greg Clayton (6-0, 220) and Adam Douglas (6-0, 220) sharing the left guard duties. Also back are right tackle Jess Huey (6-0, 240) and left tackle David Stewart (6-2, 260).

“They’ve got decent size up front, but they have something you can’t teach and that’s experience. That’s something we’re lacking,” said Lutz.

Zanesville’s defense intercepted Marietta quarterback Cody Westbrook five times, two by Assad Sumani. Josh Weatherspoon returned one interception 25 yards for a touchdown.

Senior linebacker Shane Centers (6-2, 220) anchors the defense along with defensive end Greg Clayton (6-0, 220).

“They like to play a 5-2 like us, but they come after you. They’re not going to sit still. They’re going to try and create havoc up front,” said Lutz.

Ironton, 5-3,and 4-1, needs a win to stay in the hunt for the SEOAL title as well as the Division IV playoff berth.

Zanesville is also in the title chase at 4-1. The Blue Devils are 6-2 overall with losses to Logan and Licking Valley.

“Those are two pretty good teams,” said Lutz.