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Ironton faces Coshocton in rematch ’09 playoffs

Ironton’s Jake Rawlins (85) tries for an interception while a Portsmouth receiver grabs his left arm. Rawlins was whistled for interference on the play. (The Ironton Tribune / Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Here they come again.

Less than a year after their epic overtime playoff game, the Ironton Fighting Tigers and Coshocton Redskins are ready to battle again.

Ironton and Coshocton — both 8-2 during the regular season — met in the Division IV Region 15 championship last season with the Redskins winning 20-14 in overtime at Nelsonville-York High School.

This time the teams meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Ironton’s Tanks Memorial Stadium in the regional quarterfinals.

A few things have changed since the last meeting, but the essentials remain.

Coshocton is under first-year head coach Jim Woodrum, a Lawrence County native who was the longest tenured assistant on the staff. All he’s done after taking over for Marty Arganbright is bring the team back to the playoffs despite the loss of several players including leading rusher Marcus Johnston along with another 1,000-yard rusher in Dominique McCluskey.

But each team graduated some starters and others have stepped up. For Coshocton, senior Zach Shaw is the main player to rise to the forefront. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound fullback and linebacker has given a verbal commitment to Indiana.

Shaw has carried 146 times for 1,143 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. He anchors the defense along with junior linebacker Jacob Bresciani, both returning starters from last season.

“They’ve got a nice pair of linebackers. Their probably the best pair we’ve seen this season,” said Ironton coach Bob Lutz. “When you flip over to the other side, Shaw is a big, strong runner. Everything they do plays off him.”

The other things that “play off” Shaw are running backs J.J. McKay and Saquore Harris as well as quarterback Brody Philabaum.

Another returning starter, McKay (5-9, 170) has rushed for 602 yards and scored five touchdowns. He’s also caught 12 passes for 165 yards and a pair of scores.

Harris (5-8,170) is just a sophomore but he has 385 yards on 73 carries with three scores.

Philabaum is a 6-foot, 170-pound junior who has completed 43 of 77 passes for 712 yards and nine touchdowns with six interceptions. He has also rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior split end Dylan Ogle (5-10, 160) leads the Redskins with 16 catches for 381 yards and three touchdowns. Shaw and Ren Simpson each have five receptions for 120 and 92 yards, respectively.

“They’re a pretty balanced team. They’ve got some other backs who can run the ball effectively and their quarterback is a good athlete who can run or throw,” said Lutz.

“A lot of the same guys play defense and theyhave a pretty good defense.”

The two teams have met six times in their series with each team winning three times. Ironton owns a 2-1 lead in the playoffs winning 20-0 in 1989 at Ohio University and 27-6 in 2000 at Groveport.

Ironton Fighting Tigers Offense

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Gr.

85 Jake Rawlins TE 6-02 190 Jr.

20 Pierce Reeves SE 5-09 145 Sr.

75 Dakota Taylor LT 6-00 285 Jr.

78 Gage Roach LG 5-10 275 Jr.

61 Kevin Vermilyea C 5-07 240 Sr.

76 Robbie Webb RG 6-03 270 Sr.

74 Brad Spoljaric RT 6-04 275 Sr.

26 Michael Lawless TE 5-11 160 Jr.

82 Schylar Fields TE 6-01 180 Jr.

7 Tommy Waginger QB 6-01 170 Sr.

28 Tres Wilks RB 5-08 160 Sr.

33 Brian Warner FB 6-00 210 Sr.

30 Tyler Hager RB 5-07 180 Jr.

8 Jonathan Williams PK 6-00 170 Sr.

Ironton Fighting Tigers Defense

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Gr.

89 Nick Culbertson DE 6-02 220 So.

74 Brad Spoljaric RT 6-04 275 Sr.

50 Tommy Saul NG 6-02 205 Jr.

78 Gage Roach DT 5-10 275 Jr.

75 Dakota Taylor DT 6-00 285 Jr.

82 Schylar Fields DE 6-01 180 Jr.

33 Brian Warner LB 6-00 210 Sr.

32 Brandon Leach LB 5-09 175 Jr.

45 Trevor White LB 6-02 215 So.

26 Michael Lawless CB 5-11 160 Jr.

28 Tres Wilks CB 5-08 160 Sr.

7 Tommy Waginger S 6-01 170 Sr.

5 Tyler Kratzenberg S 5-09 135 Jr.

85 Jake Rawlins S/P 6-02 190 Jr.

Coshocton Redskins Defense

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Gr.

65 J.J. Tarman LE 6-00 280 Sr.

56 Nathan Conidi LE 5-11 205 Jr.

64 Nathan Smith LT 5-10 170 So.

58 Justin Thompson LT 6-01 215 Sr.

76 Justin Lillibridge RT 6-00 255 Sr.

67 Drew McNichols RE 6-04 255 Jr.

11 Clay Andrews OLB 5-09 170 Sr.

5 Jacob Bresciani ILB 5-10 195 Jr.

33 Zach Shaw ILB 6-03 215 Sr.

2 Zack Cantrel OLB 5-06 135 Sr.

15 Brody Philabaum CB 6-00 170 Jr.

6 Tanner Cognion CB 6-01 180 So.

20 Dylan Ogle S 5-10 160 Jr.

15 Brody Philabaum P 6-00 170 Jr.

Coshocton Redskins Offense

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Gr.

20 Dylan Ogle SE 5-10 160 Jr.

65 J.J. Tarman LE 6-00 280 Sr.

58 Justin Thompson LT 6-01 215 Sr.

56 Nathan Conidi LG 5-11 205 Jr.

67 Drew McNichols C 6-04 255 Jr.

79 Shane Appis RG 5-10 195 Jr.

72 Chuck Mikulik RT 6-06 295 Sr.

22 Ren Simpson RE 6-01 195 Jr.

15 Brody Philabaum QB 6-00 170 Jr.

33 Zach Shaw FB 6-03 215 Sr.

45 Saquore Harris WB 5-08 170 So.

26 J.J. McKay WB 5-09 170 Sr.

15 Brody Philabaum PK 6-00 170 Jr.

Ironton Fighting Tigers

2010 Football Scores

Ironton 12 Wheelersburg 7

Ironton 29 Russell, Ky. 13

Ironton 24 Chillicothe 6

Ironton 43 Ashland, Ky. 6

Ironton 42 Gallipolis 7

Ironton 14 Jon. Alder 38

Ironton 19 Jackson (3OT) 26

Ironton 37 Col. Hartley 16

Ironton 29 Fairbanks 19

Ironton 45 Portsmouth 25

Record: 8-2

Computer: 1st Region 15 of Division IV

Head Coach: Bob Lutz

Coshocton Redskins

2010 Football Scores

Coshocton 27 East Knox 14

Coshocton 15 Akr. Manchester 19

Coshocton 49 West Holmes 28

Coshocton 35 New Philadlphia 20

Coshocton 57 Meadowbrook 8

Coshocton 31 Cambridge 8

Coshocton 49 Maysville 28

Coshocton 28 Claymont 20

Coshocton 9 Dover 42

Coshocton 41 River View 21

Record: 8-2

Computer: 8th Region 15 of Division IV

Head Coach: Jim Woodrum