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Ironton burns Red Devils 36-9

Ironton defensive lineman Hayden Robinson (76) wraps up Russell’s Evan Ison for a mere 1-yard gain during Friday’s game. The Fighting Tigers whipped Russell 36-9. (Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton defensive lineman Hayden Robinson (76) wraps up Russell’s Evan Ison for a mere 1-yard gain during Friday’s game. The Fighting Tigers whipped Russell 36-9. (Tony Shotsky of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

FLATWOODS, Ky. — The new-look offense ran into an old-fashioned defense.

Russell’s spread offense was overwhelmed by Ironton’s defense as the Fighting Tigers shut down the Red Devils 36-9 on Friday.

While Ironton racked up 386 total yards on offense, the Fighting Tiger defense limited Russell to 180 yards with just 81 coming on the ground.

Ironton head coach Mark Vass said execution on offense and an aggressive defense were the keys to the win.

“We controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” said Vass. “We did a lot better job on our (blocking) assignments. We mixed up our formations and our backs did a good job on the linebackers.

“I was most happy with our defense. We were aggressive. The linebackers were really hitting tonight. They were very aggressive and our secondary was pretty aggressive.”

Linebackers Desmond Young and Jeremy Bodmer helped the defensive line shut down Russell’s two standout running backs Nick Conley and Bronson Korzep.

Conley had only 10 yards on eight carries and Korzep 3 yards on two attempts.

Ironton (1-10 ran the ball 46 times for 275 yards with D’Angelo Palladino carrying the ball 14 times for 92 yards and a touchdown, Young nine times for 80 yards and a score and Tristan Cox had 57 yards on six attempts with two TDs.

Cox also hit all three of his passes for 111 yards including an 82-yard catch-and-run to Joe Bowling. Young had a catch for 22 yards that set up the final touchdown.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in our backfield. They have speed, size and toughness. Tanner Price doesn’t get a lot of credit, but he had a great game. He’s a tough little kid. And Tristan played a nice game,” said Vass.

Russell (1-1) took the opening kickoff and used a 15-yard penalty on Ironton to help fuel the drive.

The Red Devils had a first-and-goal at the 7 but Ironton’s defense stiffened and they had to settle for Kurtis Miller’s 24-yard field goal at the 5:59 mark

The teams exchanged punts but Russell shanked a 13-yard kick and Ironton was at the Red Devils’ 28.

Young ran one yard and then Cox bolted 27 yards for the touchdown getting a nice block from Palladino to help get him into the end zone. Luke Kelley’s conversion kick made it 7-3 with 31 seconds on the clock.

On Ironton’s next possession it took two plays to score. Cox clicked with Joe Bowling on an 82-yard catch-and-run play and Kelley’s kick put the lead at 14-3.

A bad snap over the punter’s head on the next series went into the end zone for a safety and it was 16-3.

The Fighting Tigers took the free kick and went 61 yards in 10 plays as Cox scrambled and zig-zagged his way through the Russell defense for a 25-yard scoring run and it was 22-3 just before the half.

Young bolted 17 and 21 yards to begin the second half and Ironton drove 68 yards in eight plays capped by Young’s 2-yard run. Kelley’s kick made it 29-3.

Young said the Fighting Tigers wanted to bounce back after last week’s season-opening loss at Wheelersburg when they trailed just 21-16 at the half but lost 42-16.

“Last week we were in the game at the half and came out flat. We focused on that this week. We came out the second half (tonight) ready to play,” said Young.

Russell got to the Ironton 41 but two incomplete passes under a heavy rush gave the ball back to Ironton.

The Fighting Tigers then march 61 yards in eight plays culminating with Palladino’s 8-yard scoring run.

Russell finally got a touchdown against Ironton’s second unit when quarterback Jacob McKee ran 7 yards for a touchdown with 7:55 to play.

Ironton’s backups then ran out the clock to end the game.

McKee was virtually the Russell offense. He was 12 of 16 passing for 99 yards and ran 12 times for 50 yards.

Ironton (1-1) won for the 17th straight time against Russell and now leads the series 27-3-1.

The Fighting Tigers play at Amanda Clearcreek next Friday. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Ironton 7 15 14 0 = 36

Russell 3 0 0 6 = 9

First Quarter

Ru — Kurtis Miller 24 field goal 5:59

Irn — Tristan Cox 27 run (Luke Kelley kick) 0:31

Second Quarter

Irn — Joe Bowling 82 pass from Tristan Cox (Luke Kelley kick) 9:29

Irn — Safety (bad snap on punt downed in end zone) 7:18

Irn — Tristan Cox 25 run (pass failed) 1:31

Third Quarter

Irn — Desmond Young 2 run (Luke Kelley kick) 8:13

Irn — D’Angelo Palladino 8 run (Luke Kelley kick) 0:34

Fourth Quarter

Ru — Jacob McKee 7 run (pass failed) 7:55

——

Irn Rsl

First downs 17 11

Rushes-yards 46-275 33-81

Passing yards 111 99

Total yards 386 180

Cmp-Att-Int 3-3-0 12-16-0

Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-0

Penalties-yards 7-60 3-25

Punts-average 2-29.5 2-28.0

——

Individual Leaders

RUSHING—Ironton: D’Angelo Palladino 14-92 TD, Desmond Young 9-80 TD, Tanner Price 5-10, Tristan Cox 6-57 2TD, Drey Boehm 3-10, Andrew Barker 3-7, Chase Rowe 4-12, Jake Isaac 2-7; Russell: Jacob McKee 12-50, Nick Conley 8-10, Bronson Korzep 2-3, Evan Ison 1-1, Landon Brewer 1-1, Seth Cole 1-7, Spencer Cole 3-11, Andrew Hoback 4-28, team 1-minus 30.

PASSING— Ironton: Tristan Cox 3-3-0 111 TD; Russell: Jacob McKee 12-16 99.

RECEIVING— Ironton: Joe Bowling 1-82 TD, Desmond Young 1-22, Tanner Price 1-7; Russell: Garion Robinson 2-24, Maxx Blackburn 1-5, Jacob Martin 2-31, Bronson Korzep 1-5, Nick Conley 2-minus 2, Austin Brinkman 1-0, Evan Ison 2-15, Bobby May 1-21.