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Ironton must stop J-M ground-oriented offense

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Cameron Deere (30) returns a kickoff against Gallipolis in a game earlier this season. Ironton travels to Johnstown-Monroe at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Division V Region 19 playoff quarterfinals. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

It’s not difficult to know what the Johnstown-Monroe Johnnies are going to do on offense. The difficult part is stopping them.
J-M likes to line up in an I-formation and run the ball. And by run the ball, that means RUN the ball.
That running game plan has provided a 9-1 record and the top seed in the Division V Region 19 Ohio High School Athletic Association computer playoff ratings which means J-M will host a first-round quarterfinal game.
That playoff game will be against the Ironton Fighting Tigers at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
On the season, the Johnnies have 3,702 total yards but only 166 of those yards are through the air. That means 3,536 yards have come on the ground.
The Johnnies top offensive threat is 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior tailback Bryce Barasch who has 1,667 yards on 232 carries for a 7.2 average and he has scored 21 touchdowns.
Right behind Barasch in the rushing statistics is senior quarterback Caden Calhoun (5-8, 155) who has 1,155 yards on 137 attempts for an 8.4 average and he has 11 touchdowns.
Not to be overlooked is senior fullback Luke Myers (6-2, 205) with 563 yards on 91 attempts for a 6.2 average and he has 14 touchdowns.
Calhoun is only 13-of-21 passing for 154 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
Senior Nate Curran (5-11, 170) has five receptions for 78 yards and a TD while sophomore Brandon McConnell (5-10, 150) has two catches for 40 yards and a score.
The offensive line is anchor by 6-4, 290-pound junior Wyatt Walton who has been contacted by numerous Division I colleges such as Ohio State, West Virginia and Cincinnati.
The rest of the offensive line is comprised of junior Hunter Nickell (6-2, 185), senior Zach Jenney (6-4, 230), senior Andrew Wingard (5-7,2 220) and senior William Lewis (6-3, 225). The tight end is sophomore Jake Lusk (6-4, 215).
But there is more to the Johnnies team than just offense.
The J-M defense has limited opponents to 1,864 total yards with 966 on the ground and 898 passing.
The defense has registered 41 quarterback sacks led by defensive ends Lusk (6-4, 215) and Stew Davis (6-4 225) with 11 sacks each. Davis can also play outside linebacker.
Junior defensive back Cole Workman (5-9, 150) leads the team with five interceptions while senior Trent Jakeway (6-0, 145) has three picks.
Senior Alex Jenney (5-10, 170) handles the punting and placekicking. He averages 37 yards per punt.
Ironton has a more balanced offense with 2,419 yards rushing and junior quarterback Gage Salyers is 61-of-123 for 917 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has been intercepted just three times.
Leading the ground game is sophomore Reid Carrico (6-2, 205) with 1,256 yards on 190 carries for a 6.6 average and he tops the team with 14 touchdowns.
Junior fullback Seth Fosson (6-1, 225) has 59 carries for 456 yards and a 7.7 average with 11 touchdowns. Salyers has 531 yards rushing on 101 attempts for a 5.3 average and eight touchdowns.
Senior Brycen Thomas (5-10, 160) has 16 receptions for 317 yards and four TDs. Junior Jordan Grizzle (5-9 190) is next with 12 catches for 182 yards and two scores, Carrico 120 yards on nine catches and a touchdown while senior tight end Ethan Duncan had eight receptions for 110 yards and three TDs.
Ironton’s opponents have a combined 58-42 record this season while J-M’s foes have posted a 46-54 record.
The two teams have met twice — both times in the playoffs — with Johnstown winning 34-7 in 2011 and 42-7 in 2012.
Johnstown reached the state semifinals in 2011 — the deepest run in their playoff history. The Johnnies are making their 11th postseason appearance while Ironton has qualified for the 34th time, third most in OHSAA history and one less than Newark Catholic and Cincinnati Moeller.

Ironton 2018 Results
Ironton 6 Wheelersburg 28
Ironton 16 Russell, Ky. 7
Ironton 41 Fairland 23
Ironton 7 Ashland, Ky. 14
Ironton 62 South Point 13
Ironton 48 Chesapeake 27
Ironton 47 Rock Hill 13
Ironton 21 Coal Grove 12
Ironton 33 Gallipolis 36
Ironton 28 Portsmouth 35
Record: 6-4

J-M 2018 Results
J-M 43 Big Walnut 38
J-M 42 Independence 0
J-M 10 Licking Valley 9
J-M 14 Granville 21
J-M 38 Watkins Memorial 7
J-M 57 Northridge 0
J-M 34 Newark Catholic 0
J-M 58 Utica 23
J-M 21 Licking Heights 7
J-M 46 Heath 0
Record: 9-1

Ironton Offensive Lineup
Pos. No. Player Ht. Wt. Gr.
SE 29 Jordan Grizzle 5-09 190 Jr.
2 Ayden Barnes 6-01 160 Sr.
LT 68 Hunter Humphreys 6-01 240 Sr.
LG 52 Labe Griffith 5-09 210 Sr.
55 Hunter Eaches 5-10 245 Jr.
C 57 Caden McFann 5-10 250 Jr.
63 Rocky White# 5-11 235 So.
RG 70 Riley Boggs 6-00 230 Fr.
57 Caden McFann 5-10 250 Jr.
RT 60 Brady Rowe 6-02 230 Sr.
TE 40 Ethan Duncan 5-10 215 Sr.
33 Dalton Crabtree 5-10 170 So.
WR 8 Brycen Thomas 5-10 160 Sr.
QB 7 Gage Salyers 6-01 185 Jr.
FB 44 Seth Fosson 6-01 225 Jr.
RB 28 Reid Carrico 6-02 205 So.
PK 82 Izack Unger
#injured
Irontonv Defensive Lineup
DE 44 Seth Fosson 6-01 225 Jr.
DT 33 Dalton Crabtree 5-10 175 So.
78 Ryan Cecil 6-01 250 Fr.
DT 76 Nate Cochran 6-01 240 Fr.
DE 68 Hunter Humphreys 6-01 240 Sr.
LB 28 Reid Carrico 6-02 205 So.
LB 40 Ethan Duncan 5-10 215 Sr.
LB 30 Cameron Deere 5-10 170 So.
LB 29 Jordan Grizzle 5-09 190 Jr.
CB 8 Brycen Thomas 5-10 160 Sr.
CB 25 Collin Freeman 6-00 170 Jr.
S 7 Gage Salyers 6-01 185 Sr.
S 2 Ayden Barnes 6-01 160 Sr.
P 40 Ethan Duncan
KO 87 Michael Mahlmeister
Johnstown-Monroe Defense
Pos. No. Player Ht. Wt. Gr.
DE 32 Jake Lusk 6-4 215 So.
DE 6 Stew Davis 6-4 225 Jr.
DT 47 Josh Boso 6-3 260 Sr.
DT 33 Tristan Bush 6-0 185 Sr.
OLB 3 Wes Myers 5-8 160 So.
ILB 57 Kaden Davis 6-0 216 Sr.
ILB 54 Bryce Writesel 5-8 190 Sr.
OLB 4 Luke Schlagheck 5-9 155 Jr.
CB 20 Garrett Psurny 5-9 160 Sr.
CB 13 Cole Workman 5-9 150 Jr.
S 14 Trent Jakeway 5-10 145 Sr.

Johnstown-Monroe Offense
WR 7 Nate Curran 5-11 170 Sr.
WR 15 Brandon McConnell 5-10 150 So.
OL 51 Hunter Nickell 6-2 185 Jr.
OL 55 Zach Jenney 6-4 230 Sr.
OL 67 Andrew Wingard 5-7 220 Sr.
OL 70 Wyatt Walton 6-4 295 Jr.
OL 75 William Lewis 6-3 255 Sr.
TE 32 Jake Lusk 6-4 215 So.
QB 39 Caden Calhoun 5-8 155 Sr.
TB 5 Bryce Barasch 5-9 170 Sr.
FB 40 Luke Myers 6-2 205 Sr.
K/P 25 Alex Jenney 5-10 170 Sr.