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Ironton controls Trojans

Ironton coach Bob Lutz is trying to teach his players discipline, pride, intensity, and tradition.

He’s also trying to instill manners as well, but that area was lacking Friday night. The Fighting Tigers refused to share the football.

Ironton held the for nearly 30 of the 48 minutes en route to a 37-6 win over the Portsmouth Trojans in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

The Fighting Tigers ate up the time on the clock with a ground game that picked up 255 yards on 57 attempts

“We had some success with that. Ball control was big. We were able to control the line of scrimmage,” said Ironton coach Bob Lutz. “Ball control and controlling the line of scrimmage is what we try to do.”

While the offense pounded away, the defense was harassing Portsmouth sophomore quarterback Josh Myers.

Although Myers had 199 yards passing, he threw on the run all night and completed just 8-of-24 attempts.

Defensive end Michael Lamb applied a lot of pressure to Myers along with Tony Murphy, John Monnig and Brad Spoljaric. The pressure was more intense in the second half.

“I fixed my stance in the second half. I was coming straight up (in the first half). I stayed down more in the second half,” said Lamb.

Chance Freeman ran 18 times for 85 yards, Major Brice got 66 yards on eight carries, and Keith Wetzel came off the bench to get 55 yards on 11 attempts.

“We had some trouble going inside with all the stunting they were doing with their linebackers, so we started going outside and had success with that.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Portsmouth had the ball at the Ironton 49 following a punt.

Myers threw to Malik White on a third-and-4 and the Trojans’ senior receiver made an amazing one-handed catch for a 41-yard gain to the Ironton 1-yard line. Three plays later Aaron Montgomery scored and the Trojans led 6-0.

But Ironton (5-3, 2-2) got the spark it needed when Courtney Lewis returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards to the Portsmouth 21. Major Brice ran 8 yards for the touchdown just four plays later to tie the game and Johnathon Schweickart’s conversion kick put Ironton up 7-6 with 7:49 left in the half.

“That got us in position to put points on the board,” said Lutz of Lewis’ kickoff return.

“The way we had to work on the sideline made it seem like a 7-6 game. They hadn’t shown a tight end (in previous games), but they did tonight. It caused us some problems.”

The Trojans went three-and-out and Ironton drove 66 yards in seven plays as Freeman rambled 14 yards for the touchdown and it was 14-6.

Portsmouth ran three plays and punted again to the Ironton 42 and the Fighting Tigers wasted little time scoring.

A 50-yard diving catch by Lukas Morris moved the ball to the Trojans 7-yard line. Erin Edens scored on a one-yard run and it was 21-6 with 1:40 left in the half.

The Trojans had ball for just 1:06 of the third quarter and ran a mere four plays. But one was a fumble deep in their territory and Angelo Jackson fell on the ball in the end zone for a safety.

A drive that started in the third quarter spilled over into the fourth quarter with Freeman running 8 yards for a touchdown and it was 30-0.

The second unit scored with 1:24 to play as Brian Warner ran 4 yards for the score.

Ironton plays at Nelsonville-York (7-1) in a pivotal computer points game next Friday. The Buckeyes are second in Region 19 of Division IV.