Ironton rallies by Russell; Pendleton gets first career coaching win
FLATWOODS, Ky. — There were penalties. There were stalled drives. There was frustration.
But there was good defense and there was Reid Carrico.
Carrico blocked a punt and ran it in for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and then broke free on a 74-yard touchdown run to seal the Ironton Fighting Tigers 16-7 win over the Russell Red Devils on Friday.
The comeback win over the underdog Red Devils gave Ironton first-year head coach Trevon Pendleton his first career victory and improved the Fighting Tigers’ record to 28-5-1 in the series with Russell.
Ironton (1-1) drove to the Russell 16-yard line in the first quarter only to see the drive stall due to a pair of key penalties.
But on Russell’s first play following the turnover on downs, a bad snap into the end zone went for a safety and Ironton led 2-0 at the 6:57 mark.
After an Ironton punt, Russell went 53-yards in 11 plays aided by two more Ironton penalties.
Nathan Conly’s 1-yard run with seven minutes on the clock and Gabe Floyd’s conversion kick put Russell ahead 7-2.
Ironton marched to the Russell 20-yard line to begin the second half when the penalty virus struck again and knocked the Fighting Tigers back to the 36-yard line. A 3-yard loss put the ball at the 39 and forced a punt.
The Red Devils used a 41-yard run by Landon Duvall to reach the Ironton 10, but Ironton’s defense held and a 28-yard field goal attempt by Floyd was just wide.
A 43-yard punt by Ethan Duncan backed the Red Devils up to their own 33 and they also lost 2 yards.
On fourth down, Russell attempted a punt but Carrico blocked the kick and then scooped the ball up on the 3-yard line and ran it in for the touchdown.
Izack Unger kicked the conversion and it was 9-7 with 10:23 to play.
Russell (0-2) drove to the Ironton 20 only to fumble on first down and Duncan recovered at the 19.
Carrico ran for 8 yards and then bolted 74 yards on the next play and it was 16-7 with 1:58 to go.
Carrico finished with 15 carries for 132 yards — his second straight 100-yard game.
The Fighting Tigers had 192 total yards with 177 coming on the ground.
Russell had 218 yards with 106 rushing and 112 passing. However, 59 yards came on the final possession of the game for Russell as Ironton loosened its defense.
Ironton visits Fairland next Friday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.
Ironton 2 0 0 14 = 16
Russell 0 7 0 0 = 7
Irn — Safety (ball snapped into end zone) 6:57
Ru — Nathan Conley 1 run (Gabe Floyd kick) 7:00
Irn — Reid Carrico blocked punt 3 return (Izack Unger kick) 10:23
Irn — Reid Carrico 74 run (Izack Unger kick) 1:58
First downs 9 16
Rushes-yards 32-177 39-106
Passing yards 15 112
Total yards 192 218
Cmp-Att-Int 2-9-0 8-19-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties-yards 13-86 3-30
Punts-average 3-38.0 2-23.5
RUSHING —Ironton: Reid Carrico 15-132, Seth Fosson 3-11, Gage Salyers 10-38, Cameron Deer 2-7, Collin Freeman 1-minus 3, team 1-minus 1; Russell: Nathan Conley 11-18, Landon Duvall 10-67, Charlie Jachimczuk 5-9, Grant Wilburn 4-14, Ethan Sharp 6-12, Frank Jeffrey 1-4, team 2-minus 18.
PASSING — Ironton: Gage Salyers 2-9-0 15; Russell: Grant Wilburn 5-16-0 86, Charlie Jachimczuk 3-3-0 26.
RECEIVING — Ironton: Brycen Thomas 1-12, Jordan Grizzle 1-3; Russell: Reed Galloway 2-15, Jacob Thompson 3-56, Malakai Anderson 1-9, Nathan Conley 1-19, Zaccheaus Snyder 1-14.