Fighting Tigers outrun Aces, 34-23
AMANDA — It was a matchup between two tradition-rich programs and physical running games.
But in the end, Ironton’s tradition won out due mainly to running back D’Angelo Palladino who ran 25 times for 226 yards and four touchdowns as the Fighting Tigers beat the Amanda Clearcreek Aces 34-23 on Friday.
Amanda (2-1) countered with its own running back as Jordan Leasure ran 25 times for 196 yards and three touchdowns.
Ironton (2-1) racked up 390 total yards including 295 on the ground. Quarterback Tristan Cox was 7 of 11 for 95 yards.
Amanda had 248 total yards with 198 coming on the ground.
“It was pretty much what you would expect. These are two teams with a lot of tradition and we both like to run the ball,” said Ironton coach Mark Vass.
“We knew they had a good back and (Leasure) ran hard and he has some speed. But we managed to get some stops when we had to and Palladino is a heck of a back himself. He ran well and we blocked pretty well.”
The Aces shut out their first two opponents this season, but the Fighting Tigers broke that scoreless streak early when Palladino broke loose on a 57-yard scoring run with 7:59 left in the first quarter.
The run capped a 74-yard, 5-play drive that came following a big defensive stand by Ironton.
The Fighting Tigers fumbled the ball away on the game’s first play at their own 35. Leasure gained 9 yards on first down, but he was held to no gain on the next three plays including a big hit by linebacker Jeremy Bodmer on fourth down.
Amanda answered eight plays later on a 9-yard run by Leasure to tie the game at 7-7.
A punt from their own 9-yard line and a good return by the Aces put the ball at the Ironton 17. The Fighting Tigers held again and forced Christian Meadows to kick a 27-yard field goal with 6:25 left in t he half and the Aces led 10-7.
Ironton scored on its first possession of the second half when Palladino’s 1-yard run ended a 65-yard, 9-play march highlighted by his 30-yard run. Luke Kelley kicked the point after for a 14-10 lead.
The Aces needed just two plays to regain the lead as Leasure ran 35 and 33 yards and it was 16-14 following the missed extra point.
But a key 30-yard pass to Lucas Campbell on third down fueled Ironton’s next possession and Palladino’s 17-yard run put Ironton in front 20-16.
It was Leasure again who gave the Aces their final lead as he ran 45 yards with 11:08 to play and it was 23-20.
After an exchange of punts, Ironton got the ball back with 4:13 to play at midfield.
Palladino ran twice for 17 yards, Tanner Price ran for 9 more and then Palladino squirted loose on a 25-yard touchdown run with 2:25 to go. Kelley’s kick extended the lead to 27-23.
“When we got down with about four minutes to play, that was gut check time for our kids and they responded. We played hard and aggressive again,” said Vass.
Forced to go to the air on third-and-20, Amanda quarterback Riley Landrum was intercepted by Richard Crockrel that resulted in a 20-yard pick six and a 34-23 lead with just 1:22 left.
The Fighting Tigers will play their first game on the new artificial turf this Friday when they host Ashland.
Ironton 7 0 13 14 = 34
Amanda 7 3 6 7 = 23
Irn — D’Angelo Palladino 57 run (Luke Kelley kick) 7:59
AC — Jordan Leasure 9 run (Christian Meadows kick) 3:37
AC — Christian Meadows 27 field goal 6:25
Irn — D’Angelo Palladino 1 run (Luke Kelley kick) 5:08
AC — Jordan Leasure 33 run (kick failed) 4:43
Irn — D’Angelo Palladino 17 run (pass failed) 1:13
AC — Jordan Leasure 45 run (Christian Meadows kick) 11:08
Irn — D’Angelo Palladino 25 run (Luke Kelley kick) 2:25
Irn — Richard Crockrel 20 interception return (Luke Kelley kick) 1:22
First downs 17 11
Rushes-yards 45-295 34-198
Passing yards 95 50
Total yards 390 248
Cmp-Att-Int 7-11-0 6-9-1
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 6-67 2-25
Punts-average 3-39.3 3-39.3
RUSHING —Ironton: D’Angelo Palladino 25-226, Tanner Price 4-32, Demond Young 6-23, Jeremy Bodmer 5-2, Tristan Cox 6-12; Amanda: Jordan Leasure 25-196, Riley Landrum 6-5, David Melucci 2-8, team 1-minus 11.
PASSING — Ironton: Tristan Cox 7-11-0 95; Amanda: Riley Landrum 6-9-1 50.
RECEIVING — Ironton: Joe Bowling 1-40, Lucas Campbell 1-30, D’Angelo Palladino 3-21, Desmond Young 1-4; Amanda: Alek Doss 1-3, Brady Cordle 3-30, Jarren Iles 2-17.