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Hornets stay unbeaten in OVC with 28-7 win

Coal Grove Hornets’ fullback Kimo Baldwin (with ball) runs through the Ironton defensive line leaving Fighting Tigers’ defensive back Ayden Barnes comes up to make the stop. Coal Grove won the game to remain unbeaten in the OVC. (Photo Courtesy of Howie McCormick)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE —The Coal Grove Hornets got what they needed.
The Hornets needed a win to stay tied for the Ohio Valley Conference lead. They also needed a win to keep their hopes of a home playoff game alive. They got both with a 28-7 win over the Ironton Fighting Tigers on Friday.
The Hornets used a balanced running game to control the clock and keep Ironton’s offense off the field.
Coal Grove had 335 yards rushing with Kimo Baldwin getting 139 yards on 14 carries. Kyle Sites running 18 times for 81 yards and Nate Harmon 15 carries for 80 yards.
Harmon was 2-of-2 passing for 32 yards.
Ironton (4-4, 3-2) finished with 170 total yards — just 44 rushing and 126 passing. Quarterback Gage Salyers was 14-of-19 for 126 yards and two interceptions. Garrett Carrico caught seven passes for 71 yards.
Coal Grove (7-1, 5-0) dominated the first half. The Hornets ran 39 plays and had 180 total yards —148 on the ground — while Ironton ran just seven plays and had minus-4 net yards.
Ironton suffered three key injuries early in the game. Fullback Seth Fosson went out on the Fighting Tigers first offensive play while two-way lineman Dylan Redmond and linebacker Jaxson Pleasant both left early in the second quarter.
Coal Grove started the game with an 80-yard, 15-play scoring drive keyed by a 10-yard scamble by Harmon and later a 17-yard keeper.
A 14-yard pass to Sam Angelo got the ball to the 6-yard line and Harmon ran 7 yards two plays later. Baldwin ran for the conversion and it was 8-0 with 3:41 on the clock.
Early in the second quarter, Coal Grove got the ball at its own 20 and used 20 plays to cover the distance as Baldwin ran the final yard for the touchdown.
The conversion pass failed and it was 14-0 with 11 seconds left in the half.
Ironton came out and moved the ball to the Hornets’ 34-yard line only to have the drive end on a fourth down interception by Joey Workman at the 7-yard line.
The Hornets then used 12 plays to go the length of the field and scored on a 5-yard run by Baldwin with 2:57 on the clock. Evan Holmes kick made it 21-0.
Ironton gave a spark of life with a 79-yard dive in 11 plays capped by a 4-yard pass from Salyers to Reid Carrico. Izack Unger kicked the conversion and it was 21-7 with 10:57 to play.
But Coal Grove squashed the comeback thoughts as Baldwin bolted 76 yards on the first play following the kickoff and the lead was 28-7.
The Fighting Tigers answered with a drive to the Hornets’ 2-yard line but Salyers was intercepted by Sam Angelo at the one.
Next Friday, Ironton visits Gallipolis and Coal Grove hosts Fairland.
Ironton       0    0    0    7    =    7
Coal Grove    8    6    7    7    =    28
First Quarter
CG – Nate Harmon 7 run (Kimo Baldwin run) 3:44
Second Quarter
CG – Kimo Baldwin 1 run (pass failed) 0:11
Third Quarter
CG – Kimo Baldwin 5 run (Evan Holmes kick) 2:57
Fourth Quarter
Irn – Reid Carrico 4 pass from Gage Salyers (Izack Unger kick) 10:57
CG – Kimo Baldwin 76 run (Evan Holmes kick) 10:42
——
Irn    CG
First downs    11    18
Rushes-yards    18-44    54-335
Passing yards    126    32
Total yards    170    367
Cmp-Att-Int    14-19-2    2-2-0
Fumbles-lost    3-0    2-1
Penalties-yards    4-25    4-35
Punts-average    2-35.0    1-47.0
——
Individual Leaders
RUSHING —Ironton: Gage Salyers 11-17, Tanner Wilson 3-14, Garrett Carrico 3-10, Seth Fosson 1-3; Coal Grove: Kimo Baldwin 17-153, Kyle Sites 18-81, Nate Harmon 15-80, Evan Holmes 2-16, Aaron Music 2-5.
PASSING — Ironton: Gage Salyers 14-19-2 126; Coal Grove: Nate Harmon 2-2-0 32.
RECEIVING — Ironton: Garrett Carrico 8-71, Alex Cox 1-minus 1, Brycen Thomas 2-27, Ethan Wilson 1-9, Reid Carrico 2-15, Ethan Duncan 1-5; Coal Grove: Sam Angelo 1-14, Jeb Jones 1-18.