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Fighting Tigers looking to lock up OVC title outright

Ironton Fighting TIgers’ running back Garrett Carrico (9) follows the block of Ryan Bryant (87) as he gains yardage in last week’s game at Chesapeake. Ironton plays at South Point on Friday in the regular season finale. The Fighting Tigers can lock up the Ohio Valley Conference title outright with a win. (Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties, Park Ave. in Ironton)

Ironton Fighting TIgers’ running back Garrett Carrico (9) follows the block of Ryan Bryant (87) as he gains yardage in last week’s game at Chesapeake. Ironton plays at South Point on Friday in the regular season finale. The Fighting Tigers can lock up the Ohio Valley Conference title outright with a win. (Tim Gearhart of Tim’s News & Novelties, Park Ave. in Ironton)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

Been there, struggled through that.

Injuries have ravaged the South Point Pointers this season, something that relates to Ironton Fighting Tigers’ head coach Mark Vass.

Ironton went through a similar situation two years ago when the Fighting Tigers had a small senior class and injuries sidelined half the starting lineup. They also struggled early this season with some key injuries.

“It’s tough to go through something like that. You feel for someone who has to go through that, but on the other hand you have to worry about your own team and to make sure they are prepared,” said Vass.

Ironton (5-4, 5-0) needs to worry about winning Friday when the Fighting Tigers visit the Pointers in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

The Fighting Tigers can lock up the OVC title outright with a win and probably put them in the Division V postseason playoffs.

“There’s a lot at stake. We’re not going to take this game lightly,” said Vass.

South Point has slumped to 2-7 overall and 1-4 in the league.

The Pointers start only three seniors: running back Jennings Smith (5-8, 140), tight end Brandon Layne (6-2, 170) and split end Justin Taylor (5-10, 160).

On the flip side, the Pointers will play three freshmen: quarterback Joel Morrison (5-11, 145) and the fullback tandem of Owen Chafin (5-9, 165) and Derek McCarty (6-0, 145).

The center is junior Corey Allison (5-10, 185), the guards junior Joe Mahon (6-1, 310) and sophomore Hunter Koukos (5-7, 200), and the tackles Caleb Eplion (6-2, 225) and Colton Napier (6-3, 290).

Sophomore John Kuhn (5-8, 130) splits time at halfback and wide receiver.

Junior Brandin Jackson (6-2, 180) has played quarterback but injuries have sent him to the sidelines along with starting junior running backs Hunter Starr (5-8, 135) and Matt Keeney (6-1, 155) as well as versatile junior Elijah Adams (6-0, 175).

“They’re young, but they’ve been playing so they a some been gaining some experience,” said Vass.

On the defensive side the Pointers are led by senior linebacker Reed Murnahan (5-11, 205) and junior defensive end Drew Adams (6-0, 175).

Napier is the nose guard, Allison and Koukos the tackles, and Eplion the other defensive end.

Mahon (6-1, 235) is the other linebacker while Smith and Kuhn are the corners and junior Williams Borders (5-10, 185) and Layne are the safeties.

Senior Justin Taylor handles the kickoffs and punting. Senior Jordan Overstreet kicks extra points and field goals.

Kickoff is 7 p.m.