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Rise in Talent

Each step you climb on the playoff ladder gets tougher. This time it seems like the Ironton Fighting Tigers might be climbing a few extra rungs.

Ironton coach Bob Lutz said the Coshocton Redskins could very well be the best team the Fighting Tigers have seen all season when the teams meet at 7 p.m. Saturday in Nelsonville for the Division IV Region 15 championship.

“You expect the competition to go up each week and it is. They’re pretty good up front, they’ve got some size, and they have a couple of good running backs,” said Lutz.

“(Marcus) Johnston may be the best back we’ve seen all year and we’ve seen some good ones.”

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Johnston has the numbers to back up Lutz’s claims. The Coshocton senior has rushed 203 times for 1,995 yards and scored 30 touchdowns.

But he’s not alone.

Slotback Dominique McCluskey (5-10, 185) also has eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier. McCluskey has 128 carries for 1,141 yards and 12 touchdowns.

With a potent 1-2 attack in the backfield, quarterback Logan Huebner (6-0, 170) doesn’t have to throw often. On the season he is 38 of 95 for 633 yards and nine touchdowns. He has been intercepted four times.

Keith Corbitt with 14 catches for 266 yards and five TDs and Joby Henry with 13 grabs for 187 yards lead the team in receptions. However, tight end Nate Lonsinger has eight catches for 255 yards and three scores.

“They don’t have to throw the ball very often, but when they do it’s pretty effective,” said Lutz.

Both teams come into the game 10-2 and featuring strong running games on offense. Lutz said the true test lies up front.

“They’ve got good size and strength up front and they’re aggressive. The team who wins the battle in the trenches will win the game,” said Lutz.

Justin Lillibridge (6-0, 215) is the center, Justin Thompson (6-0, 215) and Layton Graves (6-0, 210) the guards, and Cavin Murray (6-1, 275) and Chuck Mikulik (6-5, 285) are the tackles. Lonsinger goes 6-1, 205 at tight end.

The fullback is Zack Shaw (6-3, 215).

“You can’t go to sleep and let the fullback pop up in there. He can hurt you,” said Lutz.

Saturday’s winner advances to the state semifinals Nov. 28 at Jackson.

Ironton Fighting Tigers Offense

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Gr.

88 Jon Monnig RE 6-01 175 Sr.

72 Sam Cramblit RT 6-00 265 Sr.

76 Robbie Webb RG 6-04 250 Jr.

60 Chris Warner C 5-11 210 Sr.

52 Tractor Taylor Barker LG 6-00 285 Sr.

74 Brad Spoljaric LT 6-04 260 Jr.

32 Erin Edens LE 6-01 195 Sr.

22 Ryan Sias LE 5-11 175 Sr.

8 Ethan Preston QB 5-10 160 Sr.

28 Tres Wilks RB 5-07 155 Jr.

30 Tyler Hager RB 5-06 165 So.

37 Keith Wetzel FB 5-07 195 Sr.

33 Brian Warner FB 6-01 210 Jr.

44 J.P. Taylor RB 6-01 190 Sr.

Ironton Fighting Tigers Defense

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Gr.

88 Jon Monnig LE 6-01 175 Sr.

72 Sam Cramblit LT 6-00 265 Sr.

76 Robbie Webb DT 6-04 250 Jr.

37 Keith Wetzel NG 5-07 195 Sr.

74 Brad Spoljaric RT 6-04 260 Jr.

69 Casey Jones RE 6-04 240 Sr.

60 Chris Warner DE 5-11 210 Sr.

32 Erin Edens LB 6-01 195 Sr.

33 Brian Warner LB 6-01 210 Jr.

28 Tres Wilks CB 5-07 155 Jr.

26 Michael Lawless CB 5-11 160 So.

44 J.P. Taylor CB 6-01 190 Sr.

8 Ethan Preston S 5-10 160 Sr.

7 Tommy Waginger S 5-11 160 Jr.

Coshocton Redskins Defense

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Gr.

58 Justin Thompson LE 6-00 215 Jr.

77 Kyle Wright LT 6-00 255 Sr.

75 Cavin Murray LT 6-01 275 Sr.

67 Drew McNichols RT 6-03 235 So.

65 J.J. Tarman RT 6-00 260 Jr.

64 Layton Graves RE 6-00 210 Sr.

6 Nate Lonsinger OLB 6-01 205 Sr.

5 Jacob Bresciani ILB 5-10 175 So.

33 Zack Shaw ILB 6-03 215 Jr.

26 J.J. McKay LCB 5-09 160 Jr.

27 Marcus Johnston LCB 6-01 210 Sr.

21 Keith Corbitt RCB 5-11 185 Sr.

9 Joby Henry RCB 6-00 160 Sr.

13 Logan Huebner S 6-00 170 Sr.

Coshocton Redskins Offense

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Gr.

6 Nate Lonsinger TE 6-01 205 Sr.

75 Cavin Murray RT 6-01 275 Sr.

58 Justin Thompson RG 6-00 215 Jr.

76 Justin Lillibridge C 6-00 215 Jr.

67 Drew McNichols C 6-03 235 So.

64 Layton Graves LG 6-00 210 Sr.

72 Chuck Mikulik LT 6-05 285 Jr.

77 Kyle Wright LT 6-00 255 Sr.

11 Clay Andrews SE 5-09 165 Jr.

9 Joby Henry SE 6-00 160 Sr.

22 Dominique McCluskey SL 5-10 185 Sr.

27 Marcus Johnston WB 6-01 210 Sr.

13 Logan Huebner QB 6-00 170 Sr.

33 Zack Shaw FB 6-03 215 Jr.

26 J.J. McKay FB 5-09 160 Jr.

Ironton Fighting Tigers

2009 Results

Ironton 24 Wheelersburg 8

Ironton 45 Russell, Ky. 0

Ironton 39 Gallipolis 6

Ironton 12 Ashland, Ky. 26

Ironton 7 Logan 21

Ironton 56 Chillicothe 17

Ironton 28 Jackson 7

Ironton 50 Portsmouth 28

Ironton 32 Nelsonville-York 12

Ironton 41 Warren 12

Division IV Playoffs

Ironton 36 Sparta Highland 0

Ironton 20 Heath (OT) 14

Points Scored: 390

Points allowed: 151

Record: 10-2

Coach: Bob Lutz

Coshocton Redskins

2009 Results

Coshocton 55 East Knox 9

Coshocton 21 Akr. Manchester 13

Coshocton 41 West Holmes 17

Coshocton 17 New Philadelphia 41

Coshocton 59 Meadowbrook 8

Coshocton 31 Cambridge 21

Coshocton 61 Maysville 33

Coshocton 54 Claymont 0

Coshocton 8 Dover 23

Coshocton 48 River View 14

Division IV Playoffs

Coshocton 55 West Muskingum 35

Coshocton 15 Clearcreek 12

Points Scored: 465

Points allowed: 226

Record: 10-2

Coach: Marty Arganbright