Depleted Ironton falls to Red Devils, 18-14

Published 2:10 am Monday, September 7, 2015

Jim Walker


A football field is 100 yards long, but this game only seemed to use half of the field.

Russell spent most of the game in Ironton territory and used a crucial turnover and a depleted Ironton team due to injuries to end a 17-game losing streak as the Red Devils won 18-14 on Saturday night.

The Red Devils started 10 drives in Ironton territory.

The fighting Tigers were without D’Angelo Palladino, Desmond Young, Levi Langdon and Tanner Wilson due to injuries.

Wilson went out early in the game, Palladino did not play in the second half, and Young and Langdon left early in the half.

To compound their woes, a bad snap that sent the ball into the end zone was recovered by Russell for a game-changing touchdown.

Ironton’s defense played well as the Fighting Tigers continually turned away Russell scoring threats on a short field. But a couple of lost fumbles were too much to overcome.

Ironton was hampered by poor field position the first quarter while Russell began two drives in Ironton territory, the second at the 42 that ended in a Red Devil touchdown.

Nick Conley scored the Russell touchdown on a 3-yard run with 3:39 left in the quarter. The conversion kick failed.

The 42-yard, six-play drive was aided by two Ironton penalties for 18 yards.

Ironton (0-2) then got its offense going with a time-consuming 81-yard, 13-play march that culminated on a Young 5-yard run. The conversion kick was blocked and it was 6-6 with 5:41 left in the half.

A critical mistake cost the Red Devils (2-0) on their next possession when a bad exchange on the snap was recovered by Ironton’s Andrew Barker at the Russell 14.

Four plays later, Young pounded his way into the end zone from a yard out and Isaac’s conversion run made it 14-6 with 3:56 on the clock.

Young ran 11 times for 61 yards — all in the first half as Russell could not slow down the senior fullback.

Russell got a 16-yard scramble by quarterback Jacob McKee and a 15-yard late hit penalty on Ironton to reach the Fighting Tigers’ 25.

But the Ironton defense held at the 20-yard line with 38 seconds left in the half.

Russell appeared to have momentum by recovering an onside kickoff to begin the second half at the Ironton 49.

McKee managed to escape a heavy Ironton rush and scrambled for 11 yards to the 33. Faced with a fourth-and-3 at the Ironton 26, McKee hit Conley for 11 yards to the 15.

Russell faced a fourth-and-1 and the 6, but this time a fourth down pass went incomplete.

Ironton turned the ball back when a third down pass was intercepted by Landon Brewer.

Ironton appeared to have backup quarterback Austin Church sacked for a loss but was called for a block in the back on its defense. The penalty set the Red Devils up with a second-and-short that led to a first down at the Ironton 36.

However, the Ironton defense rose to the occasion and held on fourth-and-8 as Barker made a key stop.

Ironton started a drive and got to midfield only to fumble the ball back to Russell at the Fighting Tigers’ 45. Ironton held and got the ball back at the 16, but a bad snap over Isaac’s head on a third down play was recovered by Russell’s Drew Bultyak in the end zone with 6:57 left.

The potential game-tying conversion pass was incomplete and Ironton was clinging to a 14-12 lead.

A quick three-and-out gave Russell the ball at the Ironton 34. But Isaac came up with an interception on first down to kill the threat.

Ironton had the ball at its own 24 but its depleted offense couldn’t move the ball and Russell returned the punt to the Ironton 23.

This time the defense finally broke as Conley scrambled 10 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:16 to play.

Ironton had just 147 total yards and only 28 in the second half.

Russell 6 0 0 12 = 18

Ironton 0 14 0 0 = 14

First Quarter

Ru — Nick Conley 3 run (kick failed) 3:39

Second Quarter

Irn — Desmond Young 5 run (kick blocked) 5:41

Irn — Desmond Young 1 run (Jake Isaac run) 3:56

Fourth Quarter

Ru — Drew Bultyak recover fumble in end zone (pass failed) 6:57

Ru — Nick Conley 10 run (pass failed) 1:16


Rsl Irn

First downs 13 8

Rushes-yards 38-111 41-124

Passing yards 61 23

Total yards 172 147

Cmp-Att-Int 8-17-1 3-9-1

Fumbles-lost 2-2 4-4

Penalties-yards 4-20 7-74

Punts-average 2-45.0 5-32.8


Individual Leaders

RUSHING —Russell: Nick Conley 13-39, Maxx Blackburn 7-18, Jacob McKee 11-34, Spencer Cole 3-14, Austin Church 2-6; Ironton: Desmond Young 11-61, Andrew Barker 9-36, D’Angelo Palladino 11-23, Jake Isaac 7-17, Chase Rowe 1-3, Isaiah Brickey-Scott 1-minus 2, team 1-minus 14.

PASSING — Russell: Nick Conley 7-13-0 58, Austin Church 1-4-1 3; Ironton: Jake Isaac 3-9-1 23.

RECEIVING — Russell: Nick Conley 4-40, Maxx Blackburn 2-12, Jacob Howard 1-3, Matt Cox 1-6; Ironton: Travis Carey 2-20, Andrew Barker 1-3.