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Ironton, Russell look alike

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, these two teams look like they do a lot of the same things.

Okay, it doesn’t flow like a fairy tale, but it does describe the match-up Friday at Tanks Memorial Stadium between the Ironton Fighting Tigers and Russell Red Devils.

Ironton will line up in its T-formation and run power at its opponents. Russell likes to line up in a Wing-T and run power at its opponents.

Ironton and Russell have been running the same offenses for four decades. Bob Lutz is in his 37th year at Ironton while Ivan McGlone is in season No. 34 for the Red Devils.

“We’re both old school. We like to run right at you and we don’t change a whole lot,” said Lutz. “But it works. Russell has had a good program over the years and won a couple of state titles. We don’t play a lot of teams like the, so this will be an adjustment for us.”

Ironton is 1-0 after a 24-8 win over Wheelersburg last week. Russell has beaten East Carter (Ky.) 21-0 and Greenup County (Ky.) 37-0.

While the Red Devils will try to control the ball on offense, the key may be their defense. In two shutouts, the Red Devils have not allowed just six yards and just 190 rushing yards.

Kamron Smith has 11 tackles to lead the defense and running mate at linebacker Will Rice (5-8,180) has seven. Patrick Cooper has three interceptions.

“You pitch a couple of shutouts, that’s impressive no matter who you’re playing. They’ve got a couple a nice linebackers and their secondary is athletic and they make plays,” said Lutz.

Despite losing 17 seniors from last year, the Red Devils’ offense hasn’t missed a beat.

The ground game is led by tailback Travis Jones (6-0, 210) with 241 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns. Fullback Rice has 118 yards on 21 carries.

Quarterbacks Jordan Roark (5-9, 175) and Logan Dehoff (6-2, 195) are a combined 6-13 for 89 yards. Justin Davidson (6-5, 220) had four catches for 57 yards.

Ironton and Russell haven’t played since 1992 when Ironton won 36-0. The Fighting Tigers lead the series 20-3-1.