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Ironton rolls past South Point, 38-2

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Matthew Davis (52) reaches out to bring down South Point Pointers’ Nakyan Turner (8) on a kickoff return during Friday’s Ohio Valley Conference game. Ironton won 38-2. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

SOUTH POINT — There may have been only one football, but the Ironton Fighting Tigers were able to spread it around to a lot of players.
Eight different players ran the football and six different players had receptions as Ironton beat the South Point Pointers 38-2 in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Friday.
“We have a lot of athletes. It’s just coming together and finding our identity,” said Ironton coach Trevon Pendleton. “Any of them can make a play at any time.”
One player who contributed in three phases of the game was Ironton’s Gage Salyers.
As the quarterback, Salyers was 8-16 for 132 yards and two touchdowns and he also ran four times for 26 yards. As a safety on defense, Salyers intercepted a pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown.
Ironton (4-1, 2-0) rushed for 193 yards with Reid Carrico gaining 72 yards on just six carries.
Ironton (4-1, 2-0) used a strong defensive effort left by ends Seth Fosson and Junior Jones and nose guard Nate Cochran along with linebackers Carrico, Dalton Crabtree, Gunnar Crawford and Cameron Deere.
South Point (1-4, 0-2) struggled to keep the Ironton pass rush away from quarterback Alex Lambert who was 7-of-23 passing for 95 yards with two interceptions. He was sacked eight times for minus-54 yards.
The Pointers finished with just 126 total yards. With the sacks, they had 20 carries for a net 31 yards.
The one negative for Ironton was 12 penalties for 110 yards.
“Outside of one game, we’ve been penalty free,” said Pendleton. “This is unforced errors and that’s something that we can’t have. That’s the kind of things that will beat us in a big game.”
The Fighting Tigers took control from the outset by forcing a three-and-out and getting the ball at the Pointers’ 38.
On the first play, Ironton ran a flea-flicker as Salyers took a pitch back from Carrico and then found Trent Hacker wide-open for a 38-yard touchdown pass. Avery Book’s conversion made it 7-0 at the 9:48 mark.
Another three-and-out gave Ironton the ball at its own 38 and six plays later Carrico ran 5 yards for a touchdown with 5:36 left in the first quarter and it was 14-0.
The key play was an 18-yard pass from Salyers to Collin Freeman that put the ball at the 5-yard line.
Again, the Pointers’ punted and Ironton drove 79 yards in 11 plays capped by Deere’ 30-yard touchdown pass from Salyers with 9:46 left in the half and it was 21-0.
Salyers had a hand in the next score as well but from the defensive side as he picked off a pass at the 30-yard line and returned it for the score.
Book’s conversion extended the lead to 28-0.
A 40-yard punt by Larry Fox backed Ironton up to the 9-yard line. A 5-yard penalty pushed the ball back to the 4 and Salyers slipped in the end zone giving the Pointers a safety.
Maddox McCallister intercepted an Ironton pass on the first play of the second half giving the Pointers the ball at the Ironton 9-yard line.
But the defense held with Fosson and Jones getting back-to-back sacks of Lambert back to the 16.
“Our defense is definitely good. They can really do some things. They’re players. They fly around,” said Pendleton. “We’ve got a fairly simple scheme and we’re just kind of able to pin our ears back and get after it. Ultimately, the guys did a really good job.”
Ironton then went the distance in 10 plays with Fox plowing into the end zone from a yard out with 5:58 on the third quarter clock and it was 35-2.
The Fighting Tigers’ second until got the ball to the South Point 2-yard line only to be called for a personal foul that moved the ball back to the 17. Facing a fourth down at the 17, Ironton called on Book who booted a 34-yard field goal with just 1:16 to play.
Net Friday, Ironton visits Chesapeake and South Point goes to Rock Hill.
Ironton 14 14 7 3 = 38
South Point 0 2 0 0 = 2
First Quarter
Irn — Trent Hacker 38 pass from Gage Salyers (Avery Book kick) 9:48
Irn — Reid Carrico 5 run (Avery Book kick) 5:36
Second Quarter
Irn — Cameron Deere 21 pass from Gage Salyers (Avery Book kick) 9:46
Irn — Gage Salyers 70 interception return (Avery Book kick) 8:33
SP — Safety 2:24
Third Quarter
Irn — Seth Fosson 1 run (Avery Book kick) 5:58
Fourth Quarter
Irn — Avery Book 34 field goal 1:16
——
Irn SP
First downs 12 10
Rushes-yards 29-193 20-31
Passing yards 133 95
Total yards 326 126
Cmp-Att-Int 9-17-0 7-23-2
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-1
Penalties-yards 12-110 4-37
Punts-average 1-29.0 5-34.0
——
Individual Leaders
RUSHING — Ironton: xxx; South Point: Maddox McCallister 2-33, Jeremy McMillian 5-39, Alex Lambert 8-minus 54, Walker Clay 1-0, Brandon Pierson 2-8, Nakyan Turner 1-minus 2, Larry Fox 1-7.
PASSING — Ironton: Gage Salyers 8-16-1 132, Jacob Slone 1-1- 1; South Point: Alex Lambert 7-23-2 95.
RECEIVING — Ironton: Trent Hacker 2-52, Collin Freeman 2-20, Landon Wilson 2-9, Kyle Howell 1-1, Cameron Deere 1-21, Ashton Duncan 1-30; South Point: Chance Gunther 3-46, Larry Fox 2-37, Maddox McCallister 1-5, Jeremy McMillian 1-7.