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Ironton uses shut down defense to rout New Lex


Ironton wide receiver Trent Hacker (10) goes up in the air to grab a pass for a 25-yard gain and a first down that helped set up the Fighting Tigers’ first touchdown in Saturday’s Division 6 playoff win over the New Lexington Panthers, 49-3 (Kent Sanborn/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Chance Short
chance.short@irontontribune.com

If the Coronavirus is air born, let’s just hope our masks are as sealed tight as the Ironton Fighting Tigers’ defense.
Ironton didn’t give up a single first down until three minutes into the second quarter — it came on a penalty — in a 49-3 romp of the New Lexington Panthers in a Division 5 Region 19 playoff game on Saturday night at Tanks Memorial Stadium.
The Fighting Tigers’ defense allowed the Panthers just 32 net yards rushing on 36 attempts and quarterback Logyn Ratliff was 16 of 30 for 132 yards — an average of just 8.2 yards a reception.
Ratliff had 92 yards passing in the first half but the running game had minus-7 yards on 19 attempts.
The biggest defensive play came from Terrance West who picked off a Ratliff pass in the second quarter and returned it 95 yards for a touchdown.
New Lexington (4-4) avoided the shutout when Hunter Kellogg kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired.
Ironton’s offense was in high gear from the start as it struck quickly and often.
Ironton head coach Trevon Pendleton wanted a fast start and to put the Panthers away early.
“We’ve been preaching to our guys about starting fast and swinging the momentum our way early, and I’m proud of our guys for getting after it early and hitting a few strikes while getting three-and-outs on defense,” said Pendleton.
New Lexington had trouble even slowing down the Fighting Tigers’ first team offense that played less than a half.
New Lexington went three-and-out to start the game. West ran for 23 yards on Ironton’s first play and then Carrico went 23 and 8 yards — the latter for a touchdown at the 9:59 mark.
Jimmy Mahlmeister kicked the first of seven conversion and it was 7-0.
The Panthers gained just 1-yard passing on their next possession and Ironton went 57 yards in five plays.
Carpenter hit Trent Hacker who made a leaping catch for 25 yards and then threw a 14-yard scoring strike to Ashton Duncan and it was 14-0.
It took just two plays for Ironton to score on its next possession as Carpenter hit Duncan for 42 yards to the 1-yard line. Duncan then finished what he started with a 1-yard scoring run and it was 21-0.
A 30-yard pass to Hacker and a 20-yard run by Cameron Deere got the ball to the 1-yard line and this time Deere did the honors for a 28-0 lead.
The teams exchanged turnovers and Ironton had the ball at the Panthers’ 16. Carrico ran three times including the final 2 yards and it was 35-0.
A bad snap led to a fumble and New Lexington recovered at the Ironton 11-yard line. But two plays later, West came up with his interception and it was 42-0.
After another punt, Ironton went 51 yards in seven plays capped by a 20-yard pass play from Will York to Kyle Howell.
Ironton’s offense generated 330 total yards with 199 on the ground and 131 via the air.
Carrico ran 11 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns in his limited playing time and quarterback Carpenter was 4 of 8 for 111 yards and a touchdown.
With a running clock in the second half, Ironton used jayvee players in order to get some playoff playing experience.
Ironton (7-0) will now host Johnstown Monroe next Saturday at 7 p.m.
In three previous meetings — all in the playoffs — Johnstown has won 34-7 in 2011, 42-7 in 2012 and 15-7 in 2018.
(Jim Walker contributed to this story.)
New Lex 0 0 0 3 = 3
Ironton 28 21 0 0 = 49
First Quarter
Irn – Reid Carrico 8 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick)
Irn – Ashton Duncan 14 pass from Tayden Carpenter (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick)
Irn – Ashton Duncan 1 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick)
Irn – Cameron Deere 1 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick)
Second Quarter
Irn – Reid Carrico 2 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick)
Irn – Terrence West 95 interception return (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick)
Irn – Kyle Howell 20 pass from Will York (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick)
Fourth Quarter
NL – Hunter Kellogg 38 field goal 0:00
——
NL Irn
First downs 9 13
Rushes-yards 36-32 28-199
Passing yards 132 131
Total yards 164 330
Cmp-Att-Int 16-31-1 5-12-2
Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-2
Penalties-yards 5-35 6-40
Punts-average 8-37.6 2-29.0
——
Individual Leaders
RUSHING — New Lexington: Ryan Hobbs 14-30, Logyn Ratliff 12-minus 24, Shaun Pletcher 3-0, Caleb Jones 5-28, Chance Schooley 2-minus 2; Ironton: Reid Carrico 11-97 2TDs, Cameron Deere 3-38 TD, Ashton Duncan 1-1 TD, Jaquez Keyes 3-29, Clarence West 1-23, Tayden Carpenter 2-14, Will York 2-14, Darrell Henderson 2-1, Angelo Washington 1-1, Jon Wylie 1-0.
PASSING — New Lexington: Logyn Ratliff 16-30-1 132, Hunter Kellogg 0-1-0; Ironton: Tayden Carpenter 4-8-1 111 TD, Will York 1-4-1 20 TD.
RECEIVING — New Lexington: Brady Hanson 3-50, Zach Eveland 3-26, Shaun Pletcher 6-17, Lukas Ratliff 1-14, Hunter Kellogg 1-7, Tatem Toth 1-10, Ryan Hobbs 1-4; Ironton: Ashton Duncan 2-56 TD, Trent Hacker 2-55, Kyle Howell 1-20 TD.