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No. 1 Beechwood, QB Fieger big test for Ironton defense

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Isaiah Brick-Scott (29) breaks up a pass attempt during last week’s game against Russell. Ironton hosts Kentucky’s No. 1-ranked Class A perennial power Beechwood this Friday. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Isaiah Brick-Scott (29) breaks up a pass attempt during last week’s game against Russell. Ironton hosts Kentucky’s No. 1-ranked Class A perennial power Beechwood this Friday. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

The Beechwood Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the Kentucky Class A football poll.

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ head coach Mark Vass said they deserve their ranking.

“They’re good. They have a good program and they have some good players. Their quarterback is for real,” said Vass.

The quarterback is 5-foot-11, 170-pound senior Kyle Fieger who is a four-year starter. He threw for 2,305 yards and 28 touchdowns as a sophomore and for 1,650 yards with 21 touchdowns and only two interceptions last year as the Tigers reached the state semifinals.

Fieger was 10-of-13 for 167 yards and two touchdowns last week in a 48-14 win over Somerset. He was picked off once.

“(Fieger) has a strong arm. He’s capable of running and throwing,” said Vass.

Ethan Stringer (6-2, 200) led the ground game with 235 yards on 27 carries with three touchdowns.

“(Stringer) is a good running back. He sees the field well and he can break tackles. The fullback (Trevor Soward 5-11, 200) does a nice job of blocking,” said Vass.

The offensive line is led by senior left guard Justin Overstreet (6-3, 260). The center is senior Grant Lange (5-11, 205), the right guard Chris Campbell (6-0, 215), the tackles Joey Sherron (6-3, 230) and Braden Hermes (6-0, 255) and the tight end junior Lucas Benson (6-2, 185).

The main target is wide receiver Brett Slusher (6-2, 190) who doubles as a linebacker on defense. The split end is senior Cameron Way (5-9, 170).

Beechwood uses a 4-3 defense led by Slusher and Soward at linebacker. The right linebacker spot is split between Riley Burns (5-9, 190) and Grant Birindelli (5-9, 175).

Up front Beechwood has Sherron at left end, junior Dalton Everett (6-1, 170) and Benson at right end, Overstreet and Hermes at left tackle and senior Kyle Rowe (5-10, 225) and Overstreet at right tackle.

“Defensively they are sound and deep. They rotate players in and out to keep them fresh,” said Vass. “The linebackers do a good job getting to the ball and as a whole the defense flies to the ball.”

The secondary has junior Aiden Justice (5-8, 140) and sophomore Elijah McKenney (5-8, 140) at the corners and freshman Logan Castleman (5-8, 150) and Way at the safeties.

Beechwood opened the season with a 48-22 win over Lloyd Memorial.