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Ironton runs by Trojans, 45-25

Ironton running back Tyler Hager (30) races into the end zone as he score one of his five touchdowns in a 45-25 win Friday. (The Ironton Tribune / Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

PORTSMOUTH — It looked more like a bowling alley lane with 10 pins stacked together.

So, the Ironton Fighting Tigers threw some strikes and bowled a 300 game. That’s a 300-yard game.

Ironton rushed for 332 yards and Tyler Hager ran 14 times for 125 yards and scored five touchdowns as Ironton beat the rival Portsmouth Trojans 45-25 Friday.

“Offensively, they never really stopped us. They had nine and 10 guys in the box and we were able to block them and come out of the pack,” said Ironton coach Bob Lutz. “Our line has good size and we got a pretty good push from them. All our backs block well for each other, so it’s hard to just key on one guy.”

Tres Wilks added 79 yards on 12 carries and Brian Warner had 63 on 10 totes.

Portsmouth (3-7) had 311 total yards including 250 through the air. The Trojans managed just 61 yards rushing and a mere 25 yards against Ironton’s first unit defense.

“We played pretty well. We had a few breakdowns in our pass coverage and made a few mistakes, but for the most part we played well,” said Lutz.

Ironton (8-2) clinched the top seed in Region 15 of Division IV and will host Albany Alexander or Coshocton at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the first round of the playoffs. This marks Ironton’s 28th playoff appearance, third most in state history.

Hager asserted himself on the opening kickoff as his crunching hit forced a fumble and he recovered the ball at the Portsmouth 5-yard line. Three plays later he scored on a 6-yard run and Wilks ran for the conversion and an 8-0 lead.

Portsmouth (3-7) used a 38-yard pass to Jonathan Royster to reach the Ironton 4. Three plays later quarterback Mason Jordan scored on a 1-yard run and it was 8-6.

Wilks returned the kickoff 56 yards to the Trojans 24 and Hager ran 23 yards for a touchdown two plays later. Tommy Waginger’s conversion run extended the lead to 16-6.

A fake punt pass from up-man Kyle Simpson to L.J. Adams covered 30 yards to the Ironton 30 and two penalties moved the ball to the Ironton 3-yard line. Two plays later Andrew Gulley scored and it was 16-12.

Ironton went 60 yards in 10 plays on the next series capped by Hager’s 14-yard run on a fourth-and-2. Jonathan Williams kicked the extra point and it was 23-12.

The Trojans turned the ball over on their next play when they snapped the ball and it hit the man in motion. Ironton recovered at the 34 and five plays later Warner ran 7 yards for the score.

Williams’ kick extended the lead to 30-12 with 5:39 to go in the half.

Portsmouth was faced with a third-and-7 when a blown coverage allowed Adams to get free and team up with Jordan on a 72-yard scoring pass to make it 30-18.

But Ironton came right back four plays later as Hager blasted 32 yards for a touchdown. Warner ran for the conversion and a 38-18 lead.

Hager’s 18-yard scoring run in the third quarter ended a 89-yard, 10-play drive that opened up a 45-18 lead.

Portsmouth’s offense was virtually shut down thanks to interceptions by Wilks and Waginger. The Trojans final scorew came in the fourth quarter against Ironton’s second unit.

The win enabled Ironton to tie the all-time series with Portsmouth at 54-54-3. Ironton and Portsmouth have played more times than any other two teams in Ohio high school football history.

Ironton 16 22 7 0 = 45

Portsmouth 12 6 0 7 = 25

First Quarter

Irn — Tyler Hager 6 run (Tres Wilks run) 10:47

Prt — Mason Jordan 1 run (run failed) 6:29

Irn — Tyler Hager 23 run (Tommy Waginger run) 5:29

Prt — Andrew Gulley 1run (pass failed) 0:19

Second Quarter

Irn — Tyler Hager 14 run (Jonathan Williams kick) 8:06

Irn — Brian Warner 7 run (Jonathan Williams kick) 5:39

Prt — L.J. Adams 72 pass from Mason Jordan (run failed) 4:32

Irn — Tyler Hager 32 run (Brian Warner run) 2:39

Third Quarter

Irn — Tyler Hager 18 run (Jonathan Williams kick) 4:08

Fourth Quarter

Prt — Wayne Evans 17 pass from Mason Jordan (Nate Newton kick) 3:45

Irn Prt

First downs 19 16

Rushes-yards 5-332 22-61

Passing yards 0 250

Total yards 332 311

Cmp-Att-Int 0-2-1 16-27-2

Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-2

Punts-average 1-39.0 2-41.5

Penalties-yards 5-41 3-25

Individual Leaders

RUSHING-Ironton: Tyler Hager 14-125, Tres Wilks 12-79, Brian Warner 10-63, Laron Beach 7-29, Tommy Waginger 1-2, Trevor White 2-2, Tyler Kratzenberg 2-22, Brandon Wilson 2-10; Portsmouth: Andrew Gulley 15-53, Mason Jordan 6-minus 1, Jonathan Royster 1-minus 3, Angelo Jackson 1-2.

PASSING-Ironton: Tommy Waginger 0-2-1; Portsmouth: Mason Jordan 15-26-2 220, Kyle Simpson 1-1-0 30.

RECEIVING-Ironton: None; Portsmouth: Wayne Evans 7-74, Jonathan Royster 3-46, Kyle Simpson 4-28, L.J. Adams 2-102.