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Ironton dominates in 34-7 victory

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ running back Tanner Wilson (32) stretches the football across the goal line during Friday’s Ohio Valley Conference game against the Rock Hill Redmen. Wilson scored on the play and Ironton won 34-7. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

The outside world was talking about the return of Rock Hill coach Mark Lutz to Tanks Memorial Stadium.
But inside the Tanks Memorial Stadium locker room, the focus was on 11 people: The Rock Hill Redmen.
Ironton blocked out all the pre-game hype of the former Ironton player and coach and rolled to a 34-7 Ohio Valley Conference win over the Redmen on Friday.
“It seemed like everybody wanted to talk about a guy coming back who hasn’t been part of the program for five years instead of the focus on us and winning the ball game,” said Ironton coach Mark Vass.
“What I’m proud of is what everybody did. The coaches did an outstanding job of preparation all week long and I thought the players did an outstanding job on the field on both sides of the ball and even the special teams. I thought it was a dominant performance. I’m just real proud of how they played tonight.”
Ironton (4-3, 3-1) held the Redmen to just 111 total yards including 69 on the ground. Rock Hill had just four first downs and only one in the first half.
The Fighting Tigers’ offense piled up 342 total yards with 227 coming on the ground and another 115 through the air.
Quarterback Gage Salyers was 10-of-22 for 115 yards and ran 17 times for 95 yards. Tanner Wilson carried 12 times for 43 yards and Seth Fosson had nine carries for 40 yards in the balanced running game.
Garrett Carrico had 34 yards receiving on four catches and also ran for 16 yards and a touchdown.
Zak Adkins had 28 yards on five carries and Cameron Barnette 26 yards on eight tries with a touchdown. Jaret Bacorn had the only Rock Hill reception for 42 yards.
“The defense played really well. That was the key to the game. They played outstanding. They completely dominated in every facet of the game. And offensively, too, I thought we dominated the game. I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” said Vass.
“The kids stepped up. They were bringing the house. They brought their backers almost every play and it made it tough to run the ball at times and throwing the ball. But I thought Gage warmed up and made plays and did a good job escaping in the pocket and we were able to move the chains all night.”
Ironton took the opening kickoff and 54 yards in 10 plays capped by Salyers’ 2-yard run. Izack Unger’s kick made it 7-0 at the 8:37 mark.
Ironton scored again in the second quarter after a 24-yard punt put them at the Rock Hill 41.
A 22-yard run by Salyers set up a 1-yard scoring run by Wilson and it was 14-0 with 7:24 on the clock.
Following another punt, Ironton drove 44 yards in eight plays with Alex Cox running 19 yards for the touchdown with 2:11 left in the half and it was 21-0.
Rock Hill fumbled the kickoff and Ironton got the ball at the 24.
A 23-yard pass to Ethan Wilson set up a 1-yard scoring run by Salyers and it was 27-0 with 1:30 left in the half.
The Fighting Tigers got the ball at their own 18 in the third quarter and began a 22-play scoring drive that ended in the fourth quarter.
A 16-yard pass to Ethan Duncan and a 13-yard toss to Ethan Wilson were key plays along with a 13-yard run by Tanner Wilson. Carrico went the final 3 yards for the score and it was 34-0 with 9:07 to play.
Rock Hill (2-5, 1-3) avoided the shutout with a 72-yard drive in 10 plays. A 42-yard pass to Bacorn from Brayden Friend was the key play and Barnette ran the final yards with 2:31 left. Brady Floyd kicked the conversion.
Next Friday, Ironton visits Coal Grove while Rock Hill hosts Gallipolis.
Rock Hill    0    0    0    7    =    7
Ironton       7    20    0    7    =    34
First Quarter
Irn – Gage Salyers 2 run (Izack Unger kick) 8:37
Second Quarter
Irn – Tanner Wilson 1 run (Izack Unger kick) 8:24
Irn – Alex Cox 19 run (Izack Unger kick) 2:11
Irn – Gage Salyers 1 run (kick failed) 1:30
Fourth Quarter
Irn – Garrett Carrico 3 run (Izack Unger kick) 9:07
RH — Cameron Barnette 1 run (Brady Floyd kick) 2:31
——
RH    Irn
First downs    4    22
Rushes-yards    24-69    50-227
Passing yards    42    115
Total yards    111    342
Cmp-Att-Int    1-6-2    10-22-0
Fumbles-lost    1-1    2-0
Penalties-yards    2-20    3-30
Punts-average    5-34.0    1-29.0
——
Individual Leaders
RUSHING — Rock Hill: Zak Adkins 5-28, Cameron Barnette 8-26, J.J. Hackworth 3-9, Logan Hankins 4-2, Brayden Friend 2-2, Quinn Depriest 2-2; Ironton: Gage Salyers 17-95, Tanner Wilson 12-43, Seth Fosson 9-40, Garrett Carrico 6-16, Alex Cox 1-19, Ayden Barnes 1-minus 3, Dalton Crabtree 1-7, Cameron Deer 1-6, John Higgins 1-6, Ryan Payne 1-2, team 1-minus 4.
PASSING — Rock Hill: Brayden Friend 1-6-2 42; Ironton: Gage Salyers 10-22-0 115.
RECEIVING — Rock Hill: Jaret Bacorn 1-42; Ironton: Garrett Carrico 4-34, Brycen Thomas 4-21, Ethan Wilson 2-36, Ethan Duncan 1-16, Alex Cox 1-8.