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Ironton schedule gauntlet continues

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ quarterback Tristan Cox (8) runs for a touchdown during an earlier game this season against Portsmouth. Ironton plays at Columbus Bishop Hartley on Friday. (Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ quarterback Tristan Cox (8) runs for a touchdown during an earlier game this season against Portsmouth. Ironton plays at Columbus Bishop Hartley on Friday. (Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

Each week it seems the next opponent gets harder for the Ironton Fighting Tigers.

This week is no different.

After battling St. Charles close into the fourth quarter last week before losing 38-14, Ironton will go form the frying pan into the fire as the Fighting Tigers visit Columbus Bishop Hartley Friday.

Ironton will face a Hawks team coming off a 49-27 win over Bishop Luers of Indiana. Hartley won an earlier meeting against St. Charles 20-7.

“Obviously, Hartley is a good team. They have a good program and they have been putting out good teams every year and this year is no different,” said Ironton coach Mark Vass.

Hartley (6-1) is first in Region 17 of Division V in this week’s Ohio High School Athletic Association computer ratings. Ironton (2-5) is ranked 11th. The Hawks are No. 9 in the current Associated Press poll.

Leading the Hartley offense are running back Sam Mackowiak (6-0, 215), quarterback Jared Brandewie (6-4, 210) and wide receivers Jacob Mercier (5-10, 160), Cavell Bennett (5-11, 185) and Alonzo Saxton (6-0, 185).

“They have good skilled players. Their wide receivers all have great speed,” said Vass. “The quarterback is a nice player. He started last year and he’s better. Mackowiak is a nice runner. You can’t arm tackle him.”

Mackowiak ran 20 times for 162 yards and four touchdowns against Bishop Luers. Brandewie was 4-of-8 passing for 118 yards and a touchdown.

Bennett had one catch but it was for 61 yards and a score. Saxton had three catches for 57 yards and also ran once for 40 yards.

In the win over St. Charles, Brandewie was 6-of-9 passing for 76 yards but ran 19 times for 104 yards. Mackowiak carried 33 times for 154 yards and a score.

The fullback is Jack Zang (5-10, 175) and the tight end spot is shared between Kalil Morris (6-4, 290) and Austin Rawlins (6-3, 220).

Up front are center Max Steele (5-11, 250), guards Austin Kirkbride (5-11, 200) on the left side and Ben Reis (5-10, 200) and Ryan Reed (6-2, 200) on the right side, and tackles Nick Boeriu (6-3, 225) and Jared Crosell (5-11, 240).

“Their linemen aren’t big, but they all move well and get into their blocks well,” said Vass.

The Hawks play an attacking 3-5-3 or 5-3 defense.

“They are aggressive and they get after it. They have good speed and swarm to the ball,” said Vass.

Boeriu is the nose guard with Morris the left tackle and Tayron Washington (6-2, 240) on the right side. The ends are Jalen Austin (6-2, 185) and Shawn Smith Davis (6-0, 190).

The middle linebacker is Patrick Heinmiller (6-0, 185) and he is flanked by Bennett and Zang. Mercier and Rian Anderson (6-2, 175) are the corners with Saxton the free safety.