Ironton falls in season opener

Published 2:21 am Monday, September 1, 2014

Jim Walker


WHEELERSBURG — The Ironton Fighting Tigers executed their execution.

Ironton spent the first half moving up and down the field, but those drives bogged down in the second half as the Wheelersburg Pirates pulled away for a 42-16 win Friday in the season opener.

Ironton scored on three of its first four possessions of the first half but couldn’t get its offense on-track in the second half.

“We didn’t finish drives and they made a few more big plays than we did,” said Ironton coach Mark Vass.

“We didn’t capitalize on our opportunities. We had two drives inside the 50-yard line and didn’t score. Give them credit. They outplayed us tonight.”

Wheelersburg used a balanced offense with 202 yards rushing and 193 passing for a 395 total. Quarterback Austin May ran nine times for 70 yards and hit 6 of 9 passes for 193 yards and four touchdowns.

Ironton had 240 total yards with 197 coming on the ground.

Quarterback Tristan Cox ran13 times for 65 net yards. He was sacked three times for minus 21 yards.

D’Angelo Palladino ran 16 times for 56 yards despite a foot injury that limited him to playing only offense. Tanner Price ran five times for 45 yards.

Following an onside kickoff to start the game, Ironton went 53 yards in four plays with Cox doing most of the damage.

He ran 39 yards on a third-and-8, then reversed his field and ran 12 yards for the touchdown.

Luke Kelley’s conversion kick made it 7-0.

Wheelersburg came back with a 66-yard, 10-play drive that ended with May hitting Jacob Spradlin on 1-yard scoring pass. Daylor Lewis’ kick tied the game.

After an exchange of punts, the Fighting Tigers drove to the Pirates 12-yard line but they had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Kelley and it was 10-7 with 8:50 left in the half.

Wheelersburg answered two plays later when Tyler Jenkins managed to get between to defenders on a 57-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass and it was 14-10.

Ironton came right back to regain the lead.

A 17-yard run by Cox and a 28-yard catch-and-run pass to Palladino got the ball to the Pirates’ 20, Five players later Cox went into the end zone from a yard out.

The conversion kick was tipped and Ironton led 16-14 with 4:56 to go in the half.

A tipped pass on third down by Lucas Campbell forced the Pirates to punt, but Ironton couldn’t run out the final 3:27 and Wheelersburg got the ball back with 2:25 left.

A 28-yard pass to Jordan Howard and a 20-yard run by Jacob Hutchinson got the ball to the Ironton 13. May scored from 3 yards out four plays later and it was 21-16 with just 21 seconds on the clock.

Wheelersburg got the ball to begin the second half and went 52 yards in seven plays capped by Howard’s 20-yard run and it was 28-16.

Ironton came back with a drive to the 25 but three straight plays lost 10 yards and the Pirates took over on downs.

On third and 9, May and Burk hooked up on a 55-yard scoring pass and it was 35-16.

Early in the fourth quarter, Ironton was backed up to its own 12-yard line and a short punt gave Wheelersburg the ball at the 30. Three plays later May hit Burk with a 20-yard seam route and it was 42-16 with 6:04 left.

“We have to get a little better on both fronts. We’ve got a long season. We’ve got to stay together as a team. We just have to get better,” said Vass.

Ironton visits Russell, Ky., this Friday.

Ironton 7 9 0 0 = 16

Wheelersburg 7 14 14 7 = 42

First Quarter

Irn — Tristan Cox 12 run (Luke Kelley kick) 10:00

Wh — Jacob Spradlin 10 pass from Austin May (Daylor Lewis kick) 6:00

Second Quarter

Irn — Luke Kelley 29 field goal 8:50

Wh — Tyler Jenkins 57 pass from Austin May (Daylor Lewis kick) 8:18

Irn — Tristan Cox 1 run (kick blocked) 4:56

Wh — Austin May 3 run (Daylor Lewis kick) 0:21

Third Quarter

Wh — Jordan Howard 20 run (Daylor Lewis kick) 8:29

Wh — Chasen Burk 55 pass from Austin May (Daylor Lewis kick) 0:14

Fourth Quarter

Wh — Chasen Burk 20 pass from Austin May (Daylor Lewis kick) 6:04


Irn Wh

First downs 13 14

Rushes-yards 46-197 37-202

Passing yards 43 193

Total yards 240 395

Cmp-Att-Int 3-10-1 6-9-0

Penalties-yards 6-46 4-40

Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0

Punts-average 3-22.0 3-32.0


Individual Leaders

RUSHING—Ironton: D’Angelo Palladino 16-56, Tanner Price 5-45, Desmond Young 6-28, Tristan Cox 13-65, Jeremy Bodmer 2-minus 1, Isaiah Brickey-Scott 3-2, Jake Isaac 1-2; Wheelersburg: Austin May 9-70, Jordan Howard 8-40, Micah McAlister 9-33, Jacob Hutchinson 6-40, Chasen Burk 2-8, Tanner Bivens 1-5, Taylor Doerr 2-6.

PASSING—Ironton: Tristan Cox 3-10-1 43; Wheelersburg: Austin May 6-9-0 193.

RECEIVING: Ironton: D’Angelo Palladino 2-34, Lucas Campbell 1-9; Wheelersburg: Chasen Burk 2-75, Tyler Jenkins 1-57, Jordan Howard 2-56, Jacob Spradlin 1-5.