Home playoff game, seniors’ finale at stake for Fighting Tigers

Published 2:20 am Thursday, October 23, 2008

A win Friday night could mean a playoff berth.

Wait. Didn’t the Ironton Fighting Tigers already clinch a playoff spot? Yes, but the Warren Warriors are still alive in Division III.

Warren is 4-5 and will try to keep its flickering playoff hopes alive with a win over the Fighting Tigers Friday night at Tanks Memorial Stadium in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.

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Warren is sitting at No. 11 in Region 11. A win over Ironton would generate a huge payday of 34 computer points.

Ironton (6-3, 3-2) wants to improve its position in Region 15 of Division IV and lock up a home game.

“We’re expecting Warren to come in here and roll the dice. There’s no league title at stake, but they can make the playoffs. We’re expecting them to give us their best shot,” said Ironton coach Bob Luz.

Warren has a balanced running game with four different backs rushing for more than 200 yards. Fullback Seth Wellspring has 242 yards, wingback Andrew Dunfee 239, wingback Andrew Coffman 217, and backup Kaleb Wolfe 212.

Quarterback Clay Ellenwood (6-0,190) is 19-of-47 for 372 yards and two touchdowns but he has suffered six interceptions.

Dunfee has seven receptions for 149yards and Grant Venham had six grabs for 152 yards. Coffman (3), Wolfe (2) and Wellspring (2) have combined for seven catches out of the backfield.

“Their fullback runs hard. We know what can happen when a back runs hard. We ran into that last week with Nelsonville-York (Justin Arnold),” said Lutz.

“Their wingbacks are good athletes. They have some speed and quickness. They drove the ball on Chillicothe.”

The offensive line has Jonathan Arbuckle (5-11, 196) at center, Ben Johnson (6-0,204) and Brian Hendrix Jr. (6-0, 215) at the guards, Cody Alfred (6-3, 215) and Jacob Lemon (5-11, 240) at the tackles. Eric Hoon (6-5, 230) is the tight end.

The Warriors use a 4-4 alignment on defense and like to use their athleticism.

“They have a lot of quickness on defense,” said Lutz. “They’re aggressive and move well laterally.”

The tackles are Lemon and either Darrin Fulton (6-3, 243) or Kurtis Weekley (5-9, 195). The ends are Hoon and Johnson.

Inside linebackers are Kyle Pritt (5-11,183) and Wolfe (6-0, 197) with Venham (6-4, 200) and Erik Manson (5-10, 152) on the outside.

The secondary has Dunfee (5-9, 162) at safety while Coffman (5-9, 150) and Justin Pettit (6-0, 162) share a cornerback spot with Justin Yocum (5-8, 156) on the other side.