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First weekend of high school football proves to be eventful

What a way to open up the high school football season. Ironton’s 24-8 win over Wheelersburg was the marquee game of the week, but there was plenty of excitement to go around.

A note in the Ironton game was the absence of defensive end Jon Monnig on Wheelersburg’s scoring drive. Monnig was out of the game with leg cramps and the Pirates took advantage with several big plays around his end.

While Fairland was expected to be down this season, the Dragons did turn some heads as their defense played well in a 15-14 loss at Portsmouth West.

Chad Fisher proved to be a capable replacement for Cole Hatfield at quarterback to bolster the Fairland offense.

Speaking of offense, Coal Grove and Meigs combined for 86 points and 848 total yards. The Hornets not only showed the ability to run the ball — as usual — but they made use of the spread offense with quarterback Evan Ferguson at quarterback. He was 4-of-6 for 63 yards and ran for a score.

Chesapeake made some big plays in taking the early lead over Fairland, but they lost their top offensive lineman and linebacker Brad Eldred to an injury in the first half and did not return.

His absence was noticeable. The Oaks led just 18-14 at the half and went on to win 37-14.

Finally, South Point was supposed to have lost a lot and Portsmouth should be improved. But the Pointers led 6-2 at the half and Portsmouth had to rally for a 24-141 win.

The Trojans only win last season was over the Pointers in the first game.

Tanks Stadium Visitors

Marshall University was well represented at the Ironton vs. Wheelersburg game. Marshall head coach Mark Snyder — who helped Ironton the 1982 state championship game as the quarterback — was on the sidelines along with two Herd players, running back Jordan Taylor and tight end Michael Lamb who played at Ironton last season.

Hello, Jimmy Joe

One of the regulars on the fence attending Ironton practices is Jimmy Joe Sheridan.

But because of an illness, Sheridan is unable to attend practices or games this season. His presence has been missed.

“I always kid those guys about being at every practice and not having anything better to do, but you miss them when they’re not there. It’s not the same with Jimmy Joe missing,” said Ironton head coach Bob Lutz.

Jimmy Joe, this season is for you.

–– Sinatra ––

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.