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Ironton routs Highland; faces Hartley in regional finals

Ironton Fighting Tigers' defensive back Tres Wilks makes a one-handed interception and returns it 99 yards for a touchdown in a 43-7 rout of Highland Friday in the Division IV regional semifinals. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

LOGAN — The Ironton Fighting Tigers used a quick-strike offense to roll past the Sparta Highland Fighting Scots 43-7 Friday in the Division IV Region 15 semifinals.

Quarterback Tommy Waginger ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns on just three carries as Ironton racked up 338 yards — all on the ground. Waginger scored on runs of 66 and 61 yards as the Fighting Tigers blew the game open with 31 points in the second quarter.

Ironton (10-2) will play Columbus Bishop Hartley (10-2) next Friday in the regional finals at a site to be determined, reportedly back in Logan.

Highland (9-3) had to scrap its ground game and throw the ball all but six of 33 plays in the second half. Artie McAndrew ran for more than 1,000 yards in the regular season but managed a mere 17 yards on six carries. The Scots had 82 rushing yards and just 30 in the second half.

Scots’ quarterback Josh Gahm was 26 of 46 for 232 yards but two interceptions. All but 62 yards came in the second half as Highland ran the ball only six times in the second half.

Tres Wilks returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter for Ironton, his second of the season. It was the longest touchdown play in the new Logan football stadium.