Fighting Tigers start slow but finish strong
IRONTON — Did you ever have one of those days when you just couldn’t seem to get started and then suddenly … BOOM … you woke up?
The Ironton Fighting Tigers seemed to be sleep walking in the first quarter and the Coal Grove Hornets were taking control of the alarm clock.
But after a scoreless first quarter, Ironton woke up and exploded for 28 points and continued to keep their motor running as they went on to beat the Hornets 71-0 in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Friday.
The unbeaten Fighting Tigers are now 3-0 overall and in the OVC. They have outscored their opponents 176-16.
Coal Grove (1-2, 1-2) drove to the Ironton 11-yard line only to be hit with the fumble bug once again that has plagued them all season.
Lincoln Barnes scooped up the ball and raced down the left sideline for a 90-yard touchdown and Jimmy Mahlmister kicked the first of eight conversions for a 7-0 lead at the 10:53 mark.
After a short Coal Grove punt, Ironton struck on the ensuing play as Reid Carrico ran 34 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Ironton put together a sustain drive after another Coal Grove fumble and went 98 yards in 12 plays capped by Trevore Carter’s 7-yard touchdown run with 2:32 to play in the half.
Ironton got the ball back again after an interception at the Hornets’ 25.
Two plays later, quarterback Tayden Carpenter hit Landen Wilson with a 12-yard scoring strike and it was 28-0 with just 18 seconds left on the clock.
Carrico had a 4-yard scoring run early in the second half and Carpenter hit Trent Hacker with a 15-yard scoring strike and Will York with a 20-yard TD pass and it was 49-0 to end the third quarter.
Cameron Deere became the seventh Ironton player to score when he ran 7 yards for a touchdown with 11:52 to play and it was 56-0.
Carter got loose on a 42-yard touchdown run and Kyle Howell kicked the conversion with 6:09 left to make it 63-0.
A safety gave Ironton a 65-0 lead and Jon Wylie’s 70-yard punt return for a touchdown with 2:02 left capped the scoring.
Carrico had just eight carries but racked up 172 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Ironton ran for 277 yards and Carpenter was 10-of-14 passing for 142 yards and three touchdowns and an interception as Ironton racked up 419 total yards.
Coal Grove was limited to 118 yards — all on the ground. Austin Stapleton had 65 yards on 13 carries to lead the Hornets.
Next Friday, Ironton visits Rock Hill and Coal Grove entertains Gallipolis.
Coal Grove 0 0 0 0 = 0
Ironton 0 28 21 22 = 71
Irn – Lincoln Barnes 90 fumble return (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 10:53
Irn – Reid Carrico 34 run (Jimmy Mahlmister kick) 8:07
Irn – Trevor Carter 7 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 2:32
Irn – Landen Wilson 12 pass from Tayden Carpenter (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 0:18
Irn – Reid Carrico 4 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 10:33
Irn – Trent Hacker 15 pass from Tayden Carpenter (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 6:06
Irn – Will York 20 pass from Tayden Carpenter (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 3:18
Irn – Cameron Deere 7 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 11:52
Irn –Trevor Carter 42 run (Kyle Howell kick) 6:09
Irn – Safety
Irn – Jon Wylie 70 punt return (kick failed) 2:02
First downs 8 7
Rushes-yards 118 277
Passing yards 0 142
Total yards 118 419
Cmp-Att-Int 0-2-0 10-14-1
Fumbles-lost 6-5 2-1
Punts-average 4-34.3 0-00.0
RUSHING —Coal Grove: Austin Stapleton 13-65, Malachai Wheeler 11-15, Steven Simpson 5-7 22 7-25, Trey Hunt 7-25; Ironton: Reid Carrio 8-172 2TD, Trevor Carter 4-63 TD, Tayden Carpenter 2-5, Cameron Deere 1-7, Kyle Howell 1-9.
PASSING — Coal Grove: Clay Ferguson 0-2-0; Ironton: Tayden Carpenter 10-14-1 142 3TD.
RECEIVING — Coal Grove: None; Ironton: Landen Wilson 2-14 TD, Trent Hacker 3-49 TD, Will York 1-20 TD.