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Alder downs Ironton

Ironton linebacker Brian Warner (33) levels Jonathan Alder’s Trent Kaltenbach (14) with help from Tres Wilks (28). (The Ironton Tribune / Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Just as the Ironton Fighting Tigers were starting to move forward, they took one giant step backwards.

In a lackluster performance, Ironton struggled to find its offense and the defense failed to shut down the Jonathan Alder running game as the Pioneers took a 38-14 win Friday night at Tanks Memorial Stadium.

“They pretty much handled us,” said Ironton coach Bob Lutz. “I’m disappointed in the way we played. We had a lot of mental lapses and some turnovers that we haven’t been doing.”

Austin Dehart ran for 151 yards and three touchdowns and quarterback Graham Johnston completed 6-of-9 passes for 140 yards and a score as the Pioneers (5-1) racked up 363 total yards.

Ironton (5-1) rushed for 178 yards but managed only 10 yards passing. Brian Warner carried eight times for 54 yards and a touchdown while Tyler Hager ran nine times for 39 yards and a score.

The Fighting Tigers’ suffered a severe blow early when they lost leading rusher and defensive back Tres Wilks in the first quarter. Wilks was ejected after retaliating from a late hit by Alder.

Alder took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards in 17 plays with Dehart going the final 2 yards for the score at the 4:21 mark. Nick Smith kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

The key play came on a second-and-9 at the Alder 32. A bad snap over Johnston’s head looked like the quarterback would be brought down inside the 10-yard line. Instead, Johnston scrambled his way to a 6-yard gain.

A 17-yard punt return by Wesley Fauver and 15-yard penalty as Wilks was ejected put the ball on the Ironton 30. Alder was held to a 32-yard field goal by Smith to put the lead at 10-0.

Ironton came back with a 74-yard, 6-play scoring drive midway through the second quarter to get within 10-7.

Trevor White had a 35-yard run and Warner burst through the defense for an 18-yard run for the touchdown.

But Alder scored with 1:12 left when Johnston threw up a fade pass that J.C. Artrip caught in the corner of the end zone and it was 17-7.

“They hit two or three big plays the first half, but we were still in the game. They completed a couple of jump ball passes that could have gone either way,” said Lutz.

“I thought they came to play and we had a few things go against us and then we kind of got back on our heels after awhile.”

The Pioneers stopped an Ironton drive at midfield by stripping the ball and recovering at the 49. Seven plays later Derek Fullen scored on a 2-yard run and it was 24-7 with 2:30 left in the third quarter.

Undaunted, Ironton answered with a 75-yard, 7-play drive capped by Hager’s 1-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to trim the deficit to 24-14.

Artrip caught a 36-yard jump ball pass from Johnston to the Ironton 12-yard line and four plays later Dehart scored from 3 yards out for a 31-14 lead.

Two sacks backed left Ironton at its own 1-yard line and a short punt set up Alder’s short 32-yard scoring drive. Dehart ran 28 yards with 4:29 left and it was 38-14.

The Pioneers tried to throw for another score with under two minutes to play, but Tyler Kratzenberg came up with an interception at the 5-yard line to halt the drive.

Alder 7 10 7 14 = 38

Ironton 0 7 0 7 = 14

First Quarter

JA — Austin Dehart 2 run (Nick Smith kick) 4:21

Second Quarter

JA — Nick Smith 32 field goal 10:36

Irn — Brian Warner 18 run (Jonathon Williams kick) 4:00

JA — J.C. Artrip 40 pass from Graham Johnston (Nick Smith kick) 1:12

Third Quarter

JA — Derek Fullen 2 run (Nick Smith kick) 2:30

Fourth Quarter

Irn — Tyler Hager 1 run (Jon Williams kick) 11:54

JA — Austin Dehart 3 run (Nick Smith kick) 7:20

JA — Dehart 28 run (Nick Smith kick) 4:29

—————

JA Irn

First downs 19 11

Rushes-yards 52-223 39-178

Passing yards 140 10

Total yards 363 188

Cmp-Att-Int 6-11-1 2-7-1

Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-2

Penalties-yards 5-50 2-34

Punts-average 2-43.5 5-33.2

Individual Leaders

RUSHING-Alder: Austin Dehart 29-151, Graham Johnston 8-10, Trent Kaltenbach 12-51, Alex Randall 1-9, Derritt Potts 2-2; Ironton: Brian Warner 8-54, Tres Wilks 1-6, Trevor White 4-41, Tommy Waginger 7-17, Tyler Hager 9-39, Laron Beach 3-12, Brandon Wilson 1-5, Patrick Lewis 1-4.

PASSING-Alder: Graham Johnston 6-9-0 140, Andy Fooce 0-2-1; Ironton: Tommy Waginger 1-5-1 minus 12, Tyler Kratzenberg 1-2-0 22.

RECEIVING-Alder: J.C. Artrip 3-89, Trent Kaltenbach 1-14, Cameron Megger 1-16, Alex Randall 1-21; Ironton: Michael Lawless 1-22, Tres Wilks 1-minus 12.

MISSED FIELD GOALS: Alder-Nick Smith, 40 (WR).