• 64°

Mistake Prone

The 0-2 record for Gallipolis is not a mistake, but the record is 0-2 because of mistakes.

Under a new system by first-year head coach Mike Eddy, Gallipolis has squandered two chances to win because of self-destruction. Ironton coach Bob Lutz hopes the Blue Devils don’t get the wrinkles ironed out until after the Fighting Tigers visit on Friday in the first SEOAL game of the season.

“They’ve been their own worst enemy,” said Lutz. “They pretty much handed the games to Athens and Hillsboro. They’ve been able to move the ball, but their mistakes have killed them repeatedly.”

In a 21-0 loss to Athens in the season opener, Gallipolis turned the ball over four times on three fumbles and an interception. To compound their problems, the Blue Devils had seven penalties for 3 yards that cost them key field position.

Gallipolis had the ball at the Athens’ 1-yard line only to be called for an illegal procedure. After the penalty, the Blue Devils fumbled the ball away.

The Blue Devils also fumbled on a kickoff that gave Athens the ball at the Gallipolis 28 and led to a second touchdown.

Athens’ final touchdown came on a pass with 53 seconds to play.

Last week the offense got in gear and the Blue Devils had a 34-28 lead with 5:41 to play. But Hillsboro scored with 3:10 to play to pull out a 35-34 win.

“Gallipolis is a dangerous team. They’re getting more comfortable with their new system. They just need to eliminate their mistakes,” said Lutz. “We’ve always had trouble playing at their place, so we need to approach this game with our eyes wide open.”

Jared Gravely (6-4, 210) leads the Gallipolis running game with 151 yards on 22 carries — a 6.7 yards per carry average — and a touchdown. Austin Wilson (6-0,180) adds 93 yards on 16 carries for a 5.8 average.

Ethan Moore (6-1,180) takes over at quarterback after last year’s starter Kruise Wandling transferred to Jackson. Moore has been impressive so far, hitting 12-of-33 passing for 195 yards and three touchdowns.

The top target for Moore is Kyle Dingess (6-3, 200) with six receptions for 119 yards and two scores. Jared Golden (6-1, 200) had two catches for 51 yards and a TD while Wilson is next with three grabs for 21 yards.

“They have some nice skilled kids on offense like always. The quarterback is a good athlete who can run, too. Gravely is a load and Wilson can scoot. They give them good balance,” said Lutz.

Up front the Blue Devils have Nick Roach (6-1, 225) at center, the guards are Josh Curry (5-10,175) and Dylan Hunter (6-0, 195), and the tackles are Xavier Lewis (6-3, 270) and Bryant Bokovitz (5-10, 185).

The Blue Devils use a 4-4 alignment defensively led by Hunter and Ben Saunders (5-10, 150) at the inside linebacker spots.

On the outside will be Golden and Nate Allison (5-11, 175). The cornerbacks are Dingess and Wilson while Moore is the safety.

Up front are Gravely and Bokovitz at the ends with four players rotating at the tackle spots: Codie Lloyd (5-10, 330) and Lewis on the right side with Nathaniel Gordon (6-04, 300) and Aaron Guisinger (6-3, 335) on the left side.

“They’ve got great side up front. They’ll be a challenge for our offensive line,” said Lutz.

Ironton leads the series 40-13-1 and 24-2 during Lutz’s tenure.