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Ironton wins to set up OVC showdown

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Trent Hacker (with ball) races from a Coal Grove defender to try and gain more yards after making a reception during Friday’s game. Ironton beat the Hornets in an OVC game. (Kent Sanborn/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

COAL GROVE — The Ironton Fighting Tigers couldn’t afford to look past the Coal Grove Hornets.
So, they didn’t.
Things looked sluggish early as Coal Grove took the lead, but Ironton finally came to life and kept rolling in a 49-12 Ohio Valley Conference win on Friday.
Ironton is now 7-1 overall and tied with Gallipolis atop the league at 5-0. The two teams meet at Gallipolis next Friday.
“The defense stepped up and played well. The offense got rolling a little bit. The biggest thing is we were able to get more possessions and ultimately more plays this week,” said Ironton coach Trevon Pendleton.
Ironton finished with 438 total yards including 272 on the ground as Reid Carrico carried 13 times for 150 yards and scored four touchdowns.
“Obviously, he’s the kind of guy who can take to the house any time he’s touches the ball. Offensively and defensively he’s capable of doing things that the majority of people aren’t,” said Pendleton.
Seth Fosson and Gage Salyers each ran for 58 yards. Salyers — who ran for two scores — completed 9-of-20 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown.
Coal Grove (2-6, 1-4) was limited to 203 total yards with only 46 net yards rushing. Quarterback Cory Borders was 7-of-19 passing for 157 yards and a score. Austin Stapleton ran for 56 yards and a touchdown.
Ironton (7-1, 5-0) drove the ball from its own 12 the Hornets’ 47 only to fumble it away and the Hornets’ Justin Castle recovered at that spot.
Coal Grove used a 25-yard run by Austin Stapleton to get to the Ironton 15 on a fourth down play. Five plays later, Stapleton powered his way into the end zone from 4 yards out and it was 6-0 with 4:16 on the first quarter clock.
Ironton got the ball to the Hornets 2-yard on a 21-yard pass play only to fumble the ball and Coal Grove recovered at the 2.
The Hornets were forced to punt and Kyle Howell returned the kick 25 yards to the Coal Grove 10-yard line.
Reid Carrico scored on the next play as he bounced outside and Avery Book’s kick put Ironton up 7-6 with 9:37 on the clock.
After another quick three-and-out, Howell ran the punt back 23 yards to the 27.
Seth Fosson ran for 4 yards and then Carrico shook loose on a 23-yard scoring run and it was 14-6 at the 7:14 mark.
Another punt and a 14-yard return by Howell had the ball at the Coal Grove 48. Ironton wasted little time as Carrico scored on the ensuing play and it was 21-6 with 4:50 to go in the half.
The fourth Hornets’ punt resulted in Ironton getting the ball at its own 46.
Quarterback Gage Salyers threw 14 yards to Trent Hacker and then ran 23 yards to the Hornets’ 16.
Playing beat the clock, Ironton ran six playas with Salyers keeping on a 5-yard scoring run with five seconds on the clock.
The Fighting Tigers turned the ball over three times including two fumbles and were penalties nine times for 75 yards.
“We have a lot of things we have to clean up. Penalties and turnovers are ridiculous. It’s on us as a staff. We take full credit for it,” said Pendleton.
“Some of them come from subbing guys in and out and trying to get different looks and putting guys in positions they don’t normally aren’t in. But a lot of it is unforced stuff that we can control so we’ve definitely got to clean that up.”
Ironton 0 28 14 7 = 49
Coal Grove 6 0 0 6 = 12
First Quarter
CG — Austin Stapleton 4 run (run failed) 4:16
Second Quarter
Irn — Reid Carrico 10 run (Avery Book kick) 9:37
Irn — Reid Carrico 23 run (Avery Book kick) 7:14
Irn — Reid Carrico 48 run (Avery Book kick) 4:50
Irn — Gage Salyers 5 run (Avery Book kick) 0:05
Third Quarter
Irn — Gage Salyers 1 run (Izsac Unger kick) 7:05
Irn — Reid Carrio 31 run (Izsak Unger kick) 2:01
Fourth Quarter
CG — Austin Stormes 62 pass from Cory Borders (pass failed) 6:42
Irn — Kyle Howell 65 pass from Gage Salyers (Izsac Unger kick) 5:07
——
Irn CG
First downs 16 8
Rushes-yards 31-272 30-46
Passing yards 166 157
Total yards 438 203
Cmp-Att-Int 9-20-1 7-19-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-0
Penalties-yards 9-75 4-13
Punts-average 0-00.0 7-35.0
——
Individual Leaders
RUSHING — Ironton: Reid Carrico 13-150, Seth Fosson 10-58, Gage Salyers 6-58, Cameron Deere 1-3, Junior Jones 1-3; Coal Grove: Austin Stapleton 19-56, Austin Stormes 7-4, Cory Borders 4-minus 14.
PASSING — Ironton: Gage Salyers 9-20-1 166; Coal Grove: Cory Borders 7-19-0 157.
RECEIVING — Ironton: Kyle Howell 3-88, Ashton Duncan 2-26, Trent Hacker 3-48, Jordan Grizzle 1-4; Coal Grove: Jarren Hicks 1-5, Austin Stormes 2-114, Austin Stapleton 1-8, Joe Abrams 3-30.