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Ironton faces new-look Russell

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ running back Tanner Price (26) fights through a Wheelersburg defender during last week’s game. Price ran for 45 yards on just five carries. Ironton plays at Russell on Friday. (Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ running back Tanner Price (26) fights through a Wheelersburg defender during last week’s game. Price ran for 45 yards on just five carries. Ironton plays at Russell on Friday. (Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

This is Russell?

The long-time wing-T offense has been replaced and so has the long-time head coach.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers will be facing a new-look Russell Red Devils team when the programs renew their series Friday at Russell.

Former Russell and University of Kentucky lineman T.J. Maynard takes over for legendary coach Ivan McGlone. Maynard was previously the head coach at Greenup County and at Raceland and he brings with him the spread offense along with a different defensive scheme.

“We have some idea what to expect because we played this system last year against Raceland. But Russell has different personnel than Raceland, so it’s going to be quite a challenge,” said Ironton coach Mark Vass.

Maynard was the head coach at Raceland last season when the Rams beat Ironton 17-0 in the season finale. The Rams — who were 34-16 in Maynard’s four seasons — went on to reach the Class A state semifinals for the first time in school history.

The Reds Devils will use the spread offense led by sophomore Nick Conley (6-0, 190) and senior Bronson Korzep (5-11, 195).

In last week’s season opening 22-15 win over Greenup County, Korzep ran 12 times for 119 yards and Conley added 57 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns including a 14-yard run with 7:17 left to give the Red Devils the win.

“Conley has good speed and he knows how to make people miss,” said Vass. “Korzep has improved from last year and he has some size and he runs hard.”

The quarterback is junior Jacob McKee (5-10, 170) returns at quarterback with senior Bobby May (5-10, 1654) and sophomore Austin Brinkman (5-11, 170) the wide receivers and sophomore Landon Brewer (6-1, 175) the slot.

McKee was 7 of 10 passing for 65 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score.

The offensive line has Logan Suman (6-2, 260) and Landon Arnold (5-9, 215) at the tackles, John Montanez (5-9, 280) and Brandon Scott (6-0, 225) the guards with senior Tim Hammond (5-10, 275) the center.

Ironton (0-1) will need to be more consistent on offense this week but that may be a problem against the Red Devils’ 4-3 alignment.

Junior Mitch Redden (6-3, 300) and Montanez will be the tackles with Suman and junior Conner Slone (5-8, 200) the ends.

The middle linebacker is Arnold and he is flanked by sophomore Evan Ison (5-10, 180) and Korzep.

The corners are senior May and senior Will Peterman (5-9,1 70) with Brewer and McKee the safeties.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: Ironton fans can purchase tickets for the Russell game at the Ironton High School auto shop and Tiger Store from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting Wednesday. All tickets are $5.

Tickets will also be on sale during business hours until noon Friday at Iron City Hardware.

The school will be providing a pep bus for high school students. They can purchase their tickets at the Tiger Store when they sign-up and get their permission form.