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Ironton grinds out win over Cavs, 24-6

CHILLICOTHE — The only thing that stopped the Ironton Fighting Tigers’ offense Friday night was the Ironton offense.

A fumble and several key penalties thwarted a couple of potential touchdown drives in the first half, but it still wasn’t enough to stop the Ironton ground games as the Fighting Tigers beat the Chillicothe Cavaliers 24-6.

Ironton (3-0) controlled the clock with 57 rushes for 335 yards. The defense limited Chillicothe (0-3) to 134 total yards and just 88 rushing.

“We moved the ball well, but the mistakes hurt us in the first half. If we punch those two (drives) in, we put the game away at the half,” said Ironton coach Bob Lutz.

Ironton spread the ball around with five runners gaining 41 yards or more led by fullback Brian Warner with 19 carries for 94 yards, both career highs. He also had a touchdown.

Tyler Hager had 84 yards on 12 tries and Tres Wilks ran 14 times for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Tommy Waginger had 41 yards as did Trevor White off the bench when Hager was injured.

“I was feeling pretty good. I didn’t get tired,” said Warner who also plays linebacker.

“The coaches run us a lot so we’re in pretty good shape. The line blocked real well and made it easy to run.”

Ironton’s opening drive reach the Cavaliers 28, but a holding call pushed the ball back to the 37 and the drive ended 3 yards shy of a first down.

After a Cavaliers’ punt, Ironton used a 28-yard run by Hager to move deep into Chillicothe territory and three plays later Wilks bolted 17 yards for the touchdown. Waginger’s conversion run made it 8-0.

The Fighting Tigers next possession resulted in a drive to the Cavaliers’ 27, but they fumbled the ball away on a third-and-2 play.

The defense held again and Ironton completed the next drive by going 74 yards in 10 plays capped by Wilks’ 19-yard scamper. Waginger again ran for the conversion and a 16-0 lead.

With time running out, Chillicothe faked a punt and up man Max Corcoran — the Cavs’ quarterback — threw to Isaac Beverly for a 42-yard pass play to the Ironton 11. Dylan Osborne then kicked a 28-yard field goal and it was 16-3 at the break.

A 26-yard punt and 14-yard return gave Chillicothe the ball at the Ironton 19. But the defense held and forced another field goal attempt. Osborne hit from 40 and it was 16-6 with 4:39 left in the third quarter.

“The defense was 10 times better than last week. The people played their positions and really stepped up,” said Warner.

Following an exchange of punts, Ironton took the ball 78 yards in 14 plays while eating 7:25 off the clock. Warner went the final 4 yards for the score and then ran for the conversion with 3:47 to play.

“It was a win, but we’ll have to be a lot better next week to even have a chance,” said Lutz, referring to Ironton hosting rival Ashland on Friday night.

Ashland crushed Russell 61-7, only a week after Ironton beat Russell 29-13.

Ironton 8 8 0 8 = 24

Chillicothe 0 3 3 0 = 6

First Quarter

Irn — Tres Wilks 17 run (Tommy Waginger run) 2:41

Second Quarter

Irn — Tres Wilks 19 run (Tommy Waginger run) 3:25

Ch — Dylan Osborne 28 field goal 0:00

Third Quarter

Ch — Dylan Osborne 40 field goal 4:39

Fourth Quarter

Irn — Brian Warner 4 run (Warner run) 3:47

Irn Ch

First downs 18 8

Rushes-yards 57-335 33-88

Passing yards 14 46

Total yards 349 134

Cmp-Att-Int 2-4-0 2-9-0

Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0

Penalties-yards 4-40 4-16.5

Punts-average 2-29.0 6-35.3

Individual Leaders

RUSHING—Ironton: Brian Warner 19-94, Tres Wilks 14-69, Tyler Hager 12-84, Tommy Waginger 5-41, Trevor White 5-41, Laron Beach 1-9, Dion Brown 1-minus 3. Chillicothe: Brandon Whittaker 20-47, Casey Oates 10-41, Max Corcoran 3-0.

PASSING—Ironton: Tommy Waginger 2-4-0 14. Chillicothe: Max Corcoran 1-6-0 42, Casey Oates 0-1-0, Aaron Elliott 1-2-0 4.

RECEIVING—Ironton: Tres Wilks 1-8, Brian Warner 1-6. Chillicothe: Isaac Beverly 1-42, Corey Wagner 1-4.

MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.