Ironton uses ‘other backs’ to get pivotal OVC victory

Published 2:15 am Monday, October 10, 2016

Jim Walker

PEDRO — There’s one problem when teams try to take away the fullback from the Ironton offense.
Well, in this case, two problems.
The Rock Hill defense was geared to stop Ironton’s Tanner Wilson, so the Fighting Tigers turned to some other running backs and it paid off in a 33-14 Ohio Valley Conference win on Friday.
Ironton (4-3, 4-0) racked up 372 yards rushing with Garrett Carrico and Jourdyn Barrow each eclipsing the 100-yard plateau.
Carrico ran 12 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns while Barrow had five attempts for 106 yards and a score.
Quarterback Jake Isaac was 2-of-3 for 29 yards to give Ironton 413 total yards.
“They were throwing eight and nine men in the box with different looks. We made a couple of adjustments that allowed our other backs to get loose and gain some big yardage,” said Ironton coach Mark Vass.
“When teams stack the line of scrimmage, they can stop you. But if you break the plain, it’s off to the races and you can get some big gainers. We were fortunate to get a hat on a hat and get some big gainers.”
Rock Hill had 250 yards on the ground and Mason Darby was 3-of-7 for 30 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception.
Brady Knipp shifted to fullback to fill in for the injured Trystan Matney and ran 13 times for 77 yards. Logan Hankins had 86 yards on 18 carries.
“The defense played well except for a couple of nice drives they had. We gave up about 50 yards at the end of the first half with our prevent and they went 85 yards at the end when the subs were in,” said Vass.
Injuries played a role in the game. Rock Hill was missing Matney while Ironton was missing halfback Andrew Scott and then lost guard Levi Langdon early in the game and fullback Tanner Wilson, center Trent Klaiber and guard Dylan Redmon in the second half.

“They were just a lot of freak injuries. They were legit, but crazy things that just happened,” said Vass.
Ironton got its first touchdown in rapid fashion.
After a slow start by both teams, Ironton took over on their own 26 following a punt.
Carrico ripped off a 46-yard run to the Redmen 18 and then he scored on the next play. Tre Neal’s conversion kick made it 7-0 with 5:26 on the clock.
Ironton got the ball back at its own 26 after a punt and Jourdyn Barrow bolted 74 yards for a touchdown on the first play and it was 13-0 just before the end of the quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Rock Hill failed to cover the ball and John Higgins recovered for Ironton at the Redmen 34.
Five plays later Carrico went 15 yards for his second touchdown and it was 19-0 with 10:32 left in the half.
Rock Hill came right back and put together a 78-yard, 13-play drive capped by a 12-yard scoring pass from Darby to Tanner Martin who made a nice catch on a third-and-goal and it was 19-7 with 4:36 left on the clock.
Ironton got the ball to begin the second half and promptly went on a 69-yard, 11-play scoring drive. An Isaac 14-yard pass to Ethan Duncan got the ball to the Rock Hill 15 and Tanner Wilson scored on the next play.
Neal’s conversion kick pushed the lead to 26-7 with 6:49 on the clock.
Rock Hill came back with a drive to the Ironton 18 but was kept alive by a roughing the pass penalty on fourth down.
However, Isaac caused the Redmen to fumble at the 10-yard line and Bryson Thomas recovered for Ironton.
Carrico came up with a 36-yard run to the Rock Hill 47 and had a 34-yard touchdown run nullified by a penalty that left the ball at the 16.
That was no problem for Seth Fosson who took over for Wilson at fullback and rambled into the end zone to make it 33-7 with 10:03 to play.
Rock Hill added a 13-yard touchdown run by Zac Adkins with 49 seconds to play to cap the scoring.
Next Friday Ironton hosts Coal Grove and Rock Hill visits Gallipolis.

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