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Fighting Tigers, Cavaliers match legendary coaches

Two of Ohio’s top high school football coaches are about to square off for the first time.

Ron Hinton — who built a great program at Amanda Clearcreek where he won a state championship — is in his first season at Chillicothe.

The Cavaliers will host the Ironton Fighting Tigers and Bob Lutz — Ohio’s all-time winningest coach — Friday in a game that matches similar styles and philosophies.

In the past, Chillicothe ran a spread offense but it produced a 1-9 record last season. The Cavaliers now use a pro-I and like to run the football while playing a 50 defensive front.

The adjustment has been slow for the Cavaliers, but they have shown flashes of success that concern Lutz.

“They can score and they can control the clock,” said Lutz. “We had trouble with Russell’s running game last week and Chillicothe has a lot more speed at their skill positions. They’re better than they were last year.”

The quarterback is senior Max Corcoran (6-1, 175) with Brandon Whittaker (5-9,185) at fullback. Casey Oakes (6-0, 165) is the tailback but will share time with senior Isaac Beverly (6-1, 170).

Corcoran ran 88 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter and the Cavaliers took a 7-0 lead into the locker room.

But Chillicothe fumbled on a third-and-short at their own 28 to start the second half and Big Walnut scored to tie the game.

Chillicothe’s offense bogged down in the second half and Big Walnut scored three more times to win 28-7.

The story was reversed in week one. The Cavaliers fell behind by 20 points at the half, then rallied to within 11 points in the third quarter before falling 55-30 to Hamilton Township.

Chillicothe failed to capitalize on several chances in the first half and was hurt by turnovers including a key interception. Corcoran had a 57-yard scoring run while Oates had a 56-yard punt return for a touchdown called back due to a penalty.

“They have some big-play people,” said Lutz. “Turnovers have really hurt them. Ron Hinton is a good coach and he’ll work those things out.”

The tight end is Dylan Osborne (6-0,175) who is one of five returning starters on offense along with Corcoran, Whittaker, Oates and right tackler Skyler Mallow (6-1, 265).

Sharing the flanker role is Jalen Jones (5-11, 165) and Dereck Milliken (5-11, 160) while Zach Johnson (6-2,175) and Corey Wagner (5-9, 130) shuttle at the split end spot.

Joining Mallow up front is center Knute Bonner (5-7, 140), guards Walter Schauseil (5-8, 170) and Tre Ford (6-1, 235) and left tackle Christian Snyder (6-2, 250).

Although the defense has allowed 78 points, Lutz said a lot of the scores have been created by turnovers.

“Turnovers and missed tackles have hurt them,” said Lutz.

Bonner is the nose guard with Mallow and Luke Ramey (6-3, 195) the tackles. Brian Whittaker (5-11, 170) and Osborne are the ends with Schauseil and Brandon Whittaker the linebackers.

In the secondary, Jones and Corcoran are the corners with Oates and Kenny Doles (5-9, 145) the safeties.

DIRECTIONS: Fans going to the Ironton game should go 52 West to 23 North, then take 35 West out of Chillicothe to the Route 104 exit. Go left off the exit and travel 104/High Street to Arch Street and turn right.