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Ironton hosts high-powered Meigs

Ironton Fighting Tigers running back Andrew Barker (30) follows the lead block of fullback Desmond Young (32) during last Friday’s 25-24 win over Division II Columbus St. Charles. Ironton hosts Meigs this Friday. (Photo Courtesy Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties of Ironton)

Ironton Fighting Tigers running back Andrew Barker (30) follows the lead block of fullback Desmond Young (32) during last Friday’s 25-24 win over Division II Columbus St. Charles. Ironton hosts Meigs this Friday. (Photo Courtesy Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties of Ironton)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

The Meigs Marauders are like a time bomb. Their offense can go off at any time and when it does, it can cause a lot of destruction.

The high-powered Meigs’ offense will be a tough test for the Ironton offense when the Fighting Tigers play host on Friday.

“They’re a good football team. They’ve played a good schedule,” said Ironton coach Mark Vass.

“They can put some points on the board. They’ve got some good skilled players and a good line. We know we have to be on top of our game if we want to beat them.”

Meigs comes into the game 3-4 with wins over Vinton County, River Valley and the wild, free-scoring 79-69 win over Fairland.

The losses are to Coal Grove (46-13), Logan (55-7), Nelsonville-York (32-14) and 49-0 last week to Athens, currently ranked No. 2 in Division III.

The 49 points were the lowest output this season by Athens.

The Marauders were plagued early by a key injury to sophomore quarterback Cody Bartrum (6-0, 180) who was hurt in the Coal Grove game with Meigs leading 13-12 at the half.

With Bartrum out, Meigs was guilty of four second-half turnovers as the Hornets blew the game open.

Bartrum was 7 of 12 for 98 yards and scored a touchdown before his injury. He was 10 of 24 for 176 yards and an interception against Nelsonville-York and last week against unbeaten Athens he was just 5 of 19 for 101 yards and three interceptions.

However, he did run 13 times for 77 yards. Senior Michael Davis had 84 yards on 24 carries. Davis ran 21 times for 106 yards against Coal Grove.

Isaiah English caught five passes for 75 yards against Athens. English was forced to play quarterback when Bartrum was injured.

Other key receivers are senior Ty Phelps, sophomore Lane Acree and Davis.

Bartrum is joined in the backfield by Acree (5-11, 205) at fullback and Davis (5-9, 175) at tailback.

Phelps (6-2, 210) will play tight end and slot with English (6-0, 185) and sophomore K.J. Tracy (6-0, 145) the wide receivers.

Junior Jeff Teachout (6-0, 215) is the center, juniors Jake Korn (6-1, 210) and Colton Neutzling (6-1, 210) the guards, junior Dalton Clark (6-1, 300) and senior Daylen Neece (6-4, 255) the tackles.

“They run out of a pro-I set but they also like the shotgun and to spread the field,” said Vass.

The Marauders will utilize a strong linebacking corps in a 5-3 defensive alignment. Phelps is the middle backer flanked by sophomore Trae Hood (5-10, 200) and Acree.

“They’re one of the better group of linebackers we’ve faced and they have some size in front of them who will be tough to block,” said Vass whose team is 5-1 after beating Columbus St. Charles 25-24 last week.

Clark is the nose guard, Neece and junior Nick Combs (6-2, 235) are the tackles, with Davis and senior Austin Welch (6-1, 160) the ends.

In the secondary are freshman Lane Cullums (6-0, 170) and Bartrum the corners and English the free safety.

Phelps is the placekicker and Bartrum the punter.