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Ironton faces another high-scoring offense in West Jeff

Ironton’s Nate Cochran (76) pulls down Ridgewood quarterback Gage Tingle for a loss during last Saturday’s game. (Kent Sanborn/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

WEST JEFFERSON — Ironton versus a high-powered offense, Round 2.
Last week in the Region 19 championship game, Ironton face West Lafayette Ridgewood which was averaging 48 points a game.
The Fighting Tigers held Ridgewood to 14 points in a 24-14 victory that earned them not only the regional title but a berth in the state semifinals.
This Saturday, Ironton (12-1) plays the West Jefferson Roughriders (12-1) who have scored 639 points on the season for a 49.2 points per game average.
The Roughriders advanced with a 34-0 win over West Liberty-Salem last week. The win avenged their only loss when the fell in the final minute 42-39 to West Liberty-Salem in the eighth week of the season.
West Jefferson appears to be a passing team but has shown the ability to run just as effectively.
Sophomore quarterback and coach’s son Terry Buescher doesn’t run much, but the 5-11, 150-pounder is 145-of-196 passing — 74 percent — for 2,635 yards and 32 touchdowns.
However, in last week’s regional title game, Buescher was only 5-of-6 for 66 yards as West Jefferson relied on its running game in the cold and snowy weather.
Senior running back Gabe Jones (5-11, 175) had the big game in the 34-0 win over West Liberty-Salem. Jones ran 29 times for 287 yards and scored five touchdowns on runs of 2, 1 39, 95 and 24 yards.
Junior Gavin Frybarger (5-7, 170) added 63 yards on 11 carries. He has 82 carries for 635 yards and 13 scores on the season.
Jones leads the team in rushing with some eye-popping numbers. He has 246 carries for 2,606 yards — a 10.6 average — and he has scored 39 touchdowns. Jones also has 21 receptions for 445 yards and six TDs.
The leading receiver is junior Tyler Oberle (5-10, 160) with 38 catches for 911 yards and 11 scores. Junior Kyle Scott (5-10, 150) also has 38 catches but for 602 yards and six TDs. Sophomore M.J. Book had 307 yards on 18 receptions and two scores while junior Dylan Lambert (6-0, 190) had 184 yards on 13 grabs.
One thing the Roughriders do have that hasn’t been something Ironton has seen this season is a big offensive line.
The West Jefferson center is senior Shane Bumgardner (6-3, 290), the guards are seniors Cory Hart (6-2, 290) and Brenton Robertson (6-0, 285) while the tackles are seniors Jon Stevenson (6-4, 290) and Josh Hahn (6-2, 250).
Ironton’s defense has been its main strength all season. The Fighting Tigers have allowed just 83 points and only three times have teams scored more than one touchdown.
The Fighting Tigers have played well against passing teams as well as running teams. Ironton’s defense has allowed only 2,398 total yards through 13 games, an average of 184 yards a game.
Teams have rushed 406 times for 1,405 yards for 108 yards a game. Opponents are 73-of-177 passing with 15 interceptions for 993 yards for an average of just 76.4 yards a game. Salyers leads the team with four interceptions.
On the offensive end, the Fighting Tigers have relied on running back Reid Carrico and quarterback Gage Salyers.
Carrico has 161 carries for 1,311 yards and 22 touchdowns while leading the team in receiving as well with 364 yards on 16 catches with four scores.
Salyers is 68-of-134 passing for 1,388 yards and 12 TDs. He has also run 90 times for 649 yards and 11 scores.
Among the receiving corps, Trent Hacker has nine catches for 219 yards and three TDs, Kyle Howell 13 receptions for 188 yards and two TDs, Jordan Grizzle nine grabs for 178 yards and two touchdowns, Collin Freeman six catches for 139 yards and a score, and tight end Ashton Duncan nine receptions for 132 yards.
Ironton’s weapon-heavy lineup will present a problem for the West Jefferson defense.
The top tackler is Tommy Fuller with 73 including 5.5 for a loss. Lambert had 39 stops with 7.5 for a loss, Shane Bumgardner 31 tackles with eight for a loss and Gabe Trein leads the team with three sacks.
Oberle has four interceptions while Trent Eitel and Jones have two picks each.
West Jefferson is coached by Shawn Buescher who has guided the program to eight league championships (six Mid-States League and two Ohio Heritage Conference) and 10 playoff appearances.
In 18 seasons, Buescher has a 138-71 record with one regional title and seven regional runners-up.
Buescher — a graduate of the University of Rio Grande — has been an assistant at Oak Hill, Westfall, Chillicothe and Wellston.

Ironton Offense
SE 29 Jordan Grizzle 5-10 190 Sr.
25 Collin Freeman 6-00 170 Sr.
LT 78 Ryan Cecil 6-01 270 So.
LG 70 Riley Boggs 6-02 260 So.
C 63 Rocky White 5-11 235 Jr.
57 Caden McFann 5-11 250 Sr.
RG 52 Matthew Davis 6-00 210 Jr.
RT 79 Noah Davidson 6-05 315 Sr.
TE 24 Ashton Duncan 6-02 205 So.
WR 20 Kyle Howell 5-10 170 Jr.
10 Trent Hacker 6-02 175 Jr.
QB 7 Gage Salyers 6-01 205 Sr.
FB 44 Seth Fosson 6-01 235 Sr.
30 Cameron Deere 5-11 185 Jr.
TB 28 Reid Carrico 6-03 225 Jr.
PK 12 Avery Book 5-11 180 Sr.

Ironton Defense
DE 36 Gunnar Crawford 5-10 225 Jr.
33 Dalton Crabtree 5-10 190 Jr.
DT 2 Junior Jones 6-00 240 Sr.
DT 76 Nate Cochran 6-02 250 So.
DE 44 Seth Fosson 6-01 235 Sr.
LB 28 Reid Carrico 6-03 225 Jr.
LB 30 Cameron Deere 5-11 185 Jr.
CB 29 Jordan Grizzle 5-10 190 Sr.
10 Trent Hacker 6-02 175 Jr.
CB 25 Collin Freeman 6-00 170 Sr.
S 7 Gage Salyers 6-01 205 Sr.
S 20 Kyle Howell 5-10 170 Jr.
P 12 Avery Book 5-11 180 Sr.

West Jefferson Defense
DE 52 Shane Bumgardner 6-03 290 Sr.
DT 59 Gabe Trein 5-09 255 Jr..
DT 55 Brenton Robertson 6-00 285 Sr.
DE 75 Josh Hahn 6-02 250 Sr.
LB 34 Dylan Lambert 6-00 225 Jr.
LB 54 Tommy Fuller 5-10 190 Jr.
LB 7 Zach Hahn 6-01 205 Sr.
CB 20 Justin Hooker 6-01 150 Sr.
2 Trent Eitel 5-10 165 Sr.
CB 14 Adam Hitzeman 5-06 115 Jr.
S 35 Gabe Jones 5-11 175 Sr.
S 10 Tyler Oberle 5-10 160 Jr.
S 15 Blade Wolfe 5-10 150 Jr.
21 M.J. Book 6-01 167 So.
P 35 Gabe Jones 5-11 175 Sr.

West Jefferson Offense
WR 9 Kyle Scott 5-10 150 Jr.
21 M.J. Book 6-01 167 So.
LT 75 Josh Hahn 6-02 250 Sr.
LG 55 Brenton Robertson 6-00 285 Sr.
C 52 Shane Bumgardner 6-03 290 Sr.
RG 68 Cory Hart 6-02 290 Sr.
RT 71 Jon Stevenson 6-04 290 Sr.
WR 10 Tyler Oberle 5-10 160 Jr.
20 Justin Hooker 6-01 150 Sr.
QB 3 Tyler Buescher 5-11 150 So.
HB 34 Dylan Lambert 6-00 225 Jr.
7 Zach Hahn 6-01 205 Sr.
RB 35 Gabe Jones 5-11 175 Sr.
RB 28 Gavin Frybarger 5-08 170 Jr.
PK 18 Mason Cordetti 6-02 150 So.

 

Ironton Fighting Tigers
Ironton 30 Wheelersburg (8-4) 6
Ironton 10 Russell, Ky. (9-3) 0
Ironton 49 Fairland (6-4) 7
Ironton 10 Ashland, Ky. (10-2) OT 16
Ironton 38 South Point (1-9) 2
Ironton 50 Chesapeake (4-6) 6
Ironton 46 Rock Hill (3-7) 0
Ironton 49 Coal Grove (2-8) 12
Ironton 52 Gallipolis (9-2) 0
Ironton 48 Portsmouth (8-3) 7
Division 5 Playoffs
Ironton 56 Wellston (7-4) 6
Ironton 31 Amanda-Clearcreek (9-3) 7
Ironton 24 Ridgewood (12-1) 14
Record: 12-1

West Jefferson Roughriders
West Jeff 53 Lockland (6-4) 7
West Jeff 55 Bishop Ready (5-5) 24
West Jeff 48 Greeneview (5-5) 17
West Jeff 48 Southeastern (3-7) 14
West Jeff 55 Madison Plains (6-4) 14
West Jeff 30 Mechanicsburg (11-2) 22
West Jeff 48 Northeastern (2-8) 7
West Jeff 39 W. Liberty-Salem (11-2) 42
West Jeff 61 Triad (3-7) 28
West Jeff 58 Fairbanks (6-4) 32
Division 5 Playoffs
West Jeff 48 Sum. Country Day (8-3) 24
West Jeff 62 Shawnee (9-3) 28
West Jeff 34 W. Salem-Liberty (11-2) 0
Record: 12-1