Fighting Tigers, Hornets meet in OVC showdown

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jim Walker

It’s showdown time.
It’s staying alive for the Ironton Fighting Tigers and it’s taking the next step toward winning the Ohio Valley Conference title for the Coal Grove Hornets.
Coal Grove is 6-1 overall and unbeaten at 4-0 in the OVC. The Hornets host the Fighting Tigers on Friday in a do-or-die game for Ironton, 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the league.
The Fighting Tigers also need to keep winning to stay alive in the Division V Region 19 playoff picture.
Since Ironton joined the league two seasons ago, the Fighting Tigers have won both meetings in tightly contested games, 13-6 and 14-12.
“I expect it to be the same type of game,” said Ironton coach Mark Vass.
“They’re playing well and they’re on a roll. Their line is improved and they have some good skilled players across the board. It’ll be a tough game for us and being on the road doesn’t help any.”
Coal Grove racked up a 33-20 win over Gallipolis last week to stay unbeaten in the league and move to No. 4 in the Division VI, Region 23 playoff ratings.
The Hornets only loss is to unbeaten Portsmouth West in week three, 28-6.
Junior Nate Harmon (6-2, 185) began the season as the quarterback but has been shifting back and forth from running back and quarterback. Besides his passing, Harmon is a threat to run at either position.
Senior Kimo Baldwin (6-1, 230) is the fullback and junior Kyle Sites (5-8, 160) plays wingback and running back.
The tight end is senior Jeb Jones (6-3, 210) and the wide receivers are senior Sam Angelo (6-4, 205) and junior Aaron Music (6-1, 175).
“Harmon is a nice back and he makes them go whether he’s at running back or quarterback,” said Vass. “But they’re not a one-man show. Sites is a nice back with speed, Baldwin is a load and he’s got nice receivers in Angelo, Jones and Music.”
Up front the Hornets have senior Trey Hicks (6-2, 270) at center, seniors Darin Bloomfield (6-0, 220) and Evan Friend (5-7, 205) at the guards with sophomore Reece York (5-8, 245) and freshman Ben Compliment (6-2, 205) the tackles.
Coal Grove has also moved their personnel around on defense to create a solid unit led by Baldwin at linebacker. His running mate inside is sophomore Austin Stormes (5-11, 170).
Massive senior Josh Waulk (5-11, 360) is a four-year starter and joins Bloomfield to anchor the defensive line. Angelo and Jones are the ends.
The outside linebackers are senior Joey Workman (6-0, 175) and senior Jordan Case (6-1, 160), the cornerbacks junior Evan Holmes (5-11, 170) and Harmon with Music the free safety.
“Baldwin is a heck of a linebacker. He’s their main guy, but they have some good athletes around him,” said Vass. “Angelo and Jones have helped their defensive line. Bloomfield is a nice player and I don’t know how you move Waulk.
“The secondary has a lot of good athletes with speed, so they’re a solid defensive group.”
Holmes handles all the kicking.
Kickoff is 7 p.m.

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