Not A 2nd Time
NELSONVILLE — Déj Vu became Déj Blue.
After winning 20-14 in overtime last week, the Ironton Fighting Tigers found themselves in overtime for the second straight week at Boston Field at Nelsville-York High School.
But this time Ironton lost 20-14 in overtime Saturday night to the Coshocton Redskins in the Division IV Region 15 championship game.
“We had our chances early and didn’t take advantage of them, and once you let the game get into overtime it can ago either way. Last week it went our way and this week it went the other way,” said Ironton coach Bob Lutz.
Ironton went on defense to start overtime last week, held on defense and scored on its first play.
This time, Ironton lost the coin toss and went on offense. After gaining just one yard on three plays, a 36-yard field goal attempt by Keith Wetzel was blocked.
Coshocton got a 5-yard run by Marcus Johnston and then Logan Huebner threw 12 yards to Keith Corbitt to put the ball at the 3. Johnston was tackled for a 2-yard loss, Zack Shaw got the 2 yards back and then Johnston pushed his way into the end zone and the delayed call by the officials finally signaled touchdown.
Turnovers were Ironton’s biggest enemy in the first half. A fumble and an interception led to both Coshocton touchdowns.
After forcing a punt four plays into the game, Ironton went on an 11-play drive from its own 16 to the Coshocton 17. But the last play was a fumble and the Redskins recovered at the 17.
“We’ve been doing a good job the last part of the year not turning the ball over,” said Lutz. “That was a big drive. If we put it in the end zone there, the momentum is on our side. But they stopped us and then go down and score and the momentum swung their way.”
Coshocton went on a 14-play scoring drive that included a gamble by coach Marty Arganbright as the Redskins picked up a first down on a fourth-and-one at their own 36.
Johnston capped the drive with a 9-yard run and it was 6-0 at the 9:56 mark.
Ironton (10-3) went three-and-out and Coshocton took the ball from its own 9 to the Ironton 40. But the Fighting Tigers stopped the Redskins on a fourth-and-one.
The swing in momentum changed though as Ethan Preston was intercepted on the next play and Shaw returned the pick to the Ironton 20. A penalty on the play moved the ball to the 10 and two plays later Dominique McCluskey scored from 4 yards out.
The conversion pass failed, but a penalty gave Coshocton a second chance and McCluskey scored to make it 14-0 with 1:13 left in the half.
Ironton answered five plays later with its hurry-up offense. Two runs by J.P. Taylor got the ball to the Coshocton 41 and a 37-yard pass from Josh Pancake to Jon Monnig capped the drive to put the Fighting Tigers on the scoreboard.
Wetzel kicked the conversion and it was 14-7.
A long kickoff return gave Coshocton another scoring chance, but a 44-yard field goal attempt by Brody Philabaum hit the crossbar.
Ironton came out the second half and marched from its 45 to the Coshocton 1-yard line, but Wetzel was ruled down before getting into the end zone at the one.
Coshocton attempted a flanker pass on second down and Brian Warner came up with an interception to give Ironton the ball at the 8-yard line.
Preston kept on the next play and scored and Wetzel’s kick tied the game with 5:25 on the clock.
The game became a battle for field position with Coshocton pinning Ironton deep in its own territory on the Fighting Tigers’ next two possessions. Ironton began drives at its 10- and 3-yard lines.
The second drive got to the 21, but a bounced snap on a punt led to blocked punt and Coshocton had the ball at the 22.
The Redskins got to the 3-yard line, but McCluskey was tackled for a 1-yard loss and Coshocton was faced with a fourth down at the 4-yard line.
Philabaum tried a 21-yard field goal that he hooked wide left with 1:42 left in regulation and set up the overtime.
Ironton had 247 yards of offense despite its limited time of possession due to turnovers. Taylor had 70 yards and Wetzel 61 as the Fighting Tigers rushed for 202 yards.
“We moved the ball. We kept stopping ourselves,” said Lutz.
The Redskins finished with 284 total yards including 212 on the ground. Johnston had 138 yards on 27 carries to put him over 2,000 for the season.
Coshocton (11-2) will play Kettering Alter in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. next Saturday at Columbus Hamilton Township.
Alter beat Clinton Massie 32-7 in the Region 16 finals.
Division IV Region 15 Finals
Dave Boston Stadium
Ironton 0 7 7 0 0 = 14
Coshocton 0 14 0 0 6 = 20
Co — Marcus Johnston 9 run (kick failed) 9:56
Co — Dominique McCluskey 4 run (McCluskey run) 1:13
Irn — Jon Monnig 37 pass from Josh Pancake (Keith Wetzel kick) 0:27
Irn — Ethan Preston 8 run (Keith Wetzel kick) 5:25
Co — Marcus Johnston 3 run (no attempt)
First downs 13 15
Rushes-yards 44-202 47-212
Passing yards 45 72
Total yards 247 284
Cmp-Att-Int 2-5-1 5-7-1
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-0
Penalties-yards 3-16.5 4-43
Punts-average 4-20.5 3-34.7
RUSHING—Ironton: J.P. Taylor 13-70, Keith Wetzel 17-62, Tres Wilks 7-41, Ethan Preston 6-20, Brian Warner 1-9. Coshocton: Marcus Johnston 27-138, Dominique McCluskey 15-48, Logan Huebner 2-22, J.J. McKay 1-5, Zack Shaw 1-2, Keith Corbitt 1-minus 4.
PASSING—Ironton: Ethan Preston 1-41- 8, Josh Pancake 1-1-0 37. Coshocton: Logan Huebner 4-40 49, Dominique McCluskey 1-1-0 23, Keith Corbitt 0-1-0, Joby Henry 0-1-1.
RECEIVING—Ironton: Jon Monnig 1-37, Tres Wilks 1-8. Coshocton: Keith Corbitt 3-38, Joby Henry 1-23, Dominique McCluskey 1-11.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: Brody Philabaum, Coshocton, 44 (short), 21 (WL); Keith Wetzel 36 (blocked).