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Fighting Tigers fall to Ashland in overtime, 16-10

Ironton Fighting Tigers Kyle Howell (20) attempts to break the tackle of Ashland Tomcats’ Andy Layne during Friday’s game. Ironton lost 16-10 in overtime. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

ASHLAND, Ky. — There are no erasers when you make a mistake in football.
The Ironton Fighting Tigers were their own worst enemy as they lost a 16-10 heartbreak in overtime to the Ashland Tomcats on Friday.
A mistake hit Ironton almost immediately in the overtime. The Fighting Tigers went on offense first but were called for a chop block penalty that backed them up 15 yards.
J.T. Garrett then intercepted a pass to quickly end the offensive series.
Ashland took its turn on offense and scored three plays later as Blake Hester ran 3 yards for the touchdown.
The game was a defensive struggle from the outset. Each team punted twice before Ashland (4-1) broke the scoreless tie.
The Tomcats got the ball at their own 42 but were faced with a third-and-13 four plays later. Keontae Pittman took a handoff on a draw play and raced 50 yards for a touchdown at the 4:26 mark.
Ethan Slone kicked the extra point.
Gunnar Crawford returned a short kickoff 20 yards to the Ashland 45 to set up Ironton’s scoring drive.
After a short gain, quarterback Gage Salyers hit Reid Carrico on a wheel route that went for 33 yards to the Tomcats’ 10.
Fosson carried twice including the final 4 yards for the touchdown with 2:30 left in the half. Avery Book kicked the conversion.
The score remained tied until the fourth quarter when Ironton used a 29-yard run by Carrico to the Ashland 23 that set up a 34-yard field goal by Book with 8:58 to play.
Ironton had a 15-yard penalty on the conversion play and kicked off from its own 25.
Ashland got a return to the 43 and drove to the Ironton 7-yard line where the drive stalled when Fosson had a big third-down hit on Pittman that forced the Tomcats’ Ethan Slone to kick a 25-yard field goal to tie the game with 3:21 left in regulation.
Ironton used a 35-yard pass from Salyers to Carrico to rech the Ashland 31 with time running out.
After spiking the ball twice to kill the clock, Book attempted a 48-yard field goal that fell just short and sent the game into overtime.
Ironton only managed 112 yards rushing with Carrico get 93 yards on 17 carries. Salyers was 5-of-10 passing for 96 yards and Carrico had two catches for 68yards.
Ashland ran for 312 yards as Hester rushed 23 times for 170 yards and Pittman 19 times for 113. The Tomcats had only 22 yards passing.
It was Ironton’s first overtime game in the regular season since a 26-19 three-overtime loss to Jackson in 2010.
Ironton plays at South Point next Friday.
Ironton 0 7 0 3 0 = 10
Ashland 0 7 0 3 6 = 16
Second Quarter
Ash — Keontae Pittman 50 run (Ethan Slone kick) 4:26
Irn — Seth Fosson 4 run (Avery Book kick) 2:30
Fourth Quarter
Irn — Avery Book 34 field goal 8:58
Ash — Ethan Slone 25 field goal 3:21
Overtime
Ash — Blake Hester 3 run (no attempt)
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Irn Ash
First downs 8 15
Rushes-yards 34-112 49-312
Passing yards 96 22
Total yards 208 334
Cmp-Att-Int 5-10-2 4-9-0
Fumbles-lost 4-2 2-2
Penalties-yards 6-74 5-34
Punts-average 3-40.7 3-33.7
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Individual Leaders
RUSHING — Ironton: Reid Carrico 17-93, Seth Fosson 6-13, Gage Salyers 6-8, Cameron Deere 4-15, Kyle Howell 1-3; Ashland: Blake Hester 23-170, Keontae Pittman 19-113, Jack Gregg 3-7, Steele Workman 4-22.
PASSING — Ironton: Gage Salyers 5-10-2 96; Ashland: Jack Gregg 4-9-0 22.
RECEIVING — Ironton: Reid Carrico 2-68, Kyle Howell 1-12, Ashton Duncan 1-11, Trent Hacker 1-5; Ashland: Paul Humphreys 1-15, Blake Hester 1-4, J.T. Garrett 2-3.