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Ironton defense swarms Johnstown in 42-0 playoff romp

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Gunner Crawford (36) wraps up Johnstown-Monroe quarterback Joe Sahr (2) with help from linebacker Cameron Deere (30). Ironton’s defense swarmed the Johnnies in a 42-0 win on Saturday in the Division 5 Region 19 regional quarterfinals. (Kent Sanborn/Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

IRONTON — They call a group of Tigers a swarm.
Meet the Ironton Fighting Tigers’ defense, a.k.a. The Swarm.
Ironton swarmed the Johnstown-Monroe Johnnies — especially quarterback Joe Sahr who was sack 11 times — and the defense allowed just 44 net yards in a 42-0 rout on Saturday in the Division 5 Region 19 regional semifinals.
Besides limiting the Johnnies to a minus 16 yards rushing, the Ironton defense got its first interceptions of the season as Trent Hacker took the honors with the first pick and Kyle Howell followed suit on the next series.
Ironton (8-0) will now host Columbus World Harvest Prep at 7 p.m. next Saturday in the regional semifinals. The other semifinal game has Wheelersburg going against West Lafayette Ridgewood.
If Ironton wins, the Fighting Tigers would also host the regional championship game. The only other time Ironton hosted a regional title game was in 2003 when Portsmouth played Portsmouth West in a downpour.
Although Ironton’s offense was somewhat sluggish early it kicked into gear thanks to Reid Carrico who ran just eight times for 117 yards and two touchdowns when he wasn’t terrorizing the Johnnies from his linebacker spot.
Trevor Carter ran seven times for 92 yards and quarterback Tayden Carpenter was 6-of-11 for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Carrico had one of the receiving TDs.
On Ironton’s second possession, Ashton Duncan caught a pass from Carpenter and took off running to the Johnnies’ 8-yard line. Three plays later, Carpenter scored from a yard out and Jimmy Mahlmeister’s conversion kick made it 7-0 at the 4:48 mark.
Carter had a 42-yard run to the Johnstown 34 and then Carpenter hit Carrico in stride and he raced into the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 10:31 to go in the half.
Ironton got the ball back with 1:24 to play in the half at the 47-yard line, but that was more than enough time as Carrico took a pitchout and zig-zagged through the J-M defense, breaking tackles and bouncing off defenders as he scored from 44 yards out with 30 seconds on the clock.
Mahlmeister’s kick pushed the lead to 21-0 at the break.
It took Ironton all of two plays to score starting the second half.
Carrico ran for 12 yards on the first play of the half and then bolted 43 yards through the teeth of the Johnstown defense as he made it 28-0 with 11:10 on the clock.
Hacker came up with an interception two plays later and Ironton was back in business at the Johnnies’ 15.
A holding penalty moved the ball back but Carpenter hit Aaron Masters with an 11-yard pass and a penalty moved the ball to the 8. Carpenter then threaded a pass between defenders to Erickson Barnes who made the 8-yard catch for his first career touchdown and it was 35-0 with 9:55 left in the quarter.
The final score came on the third play of the fourth quarter against a running clock as Carter ran 13 yards for a touchdown with 10:32 left.
Johnstown (6-3) had won all three previous meetings with Ironton — all in the playoffs. Ironton had never scored more than one touchdown in any of the three games.
Johnstown 0 0 0 0 = 0
Ironton 7 14 14 7 = 42
First Quarter
Irn – Tayden Carpenter 1 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 4:48
Second Quarter
Irn – Reid Carrico 28 pass from Tayden Carpenter (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 10:31
Irn – Reid Carrico 44 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 0:30
Third Quarter
Irn – Reid Carrico 43 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 11:10
Irn – Erickson Barnes 7 pass from Tayden Carpenter (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 9:55
Fourth Quarter
Irn – Trevor Carter 13 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 10:32
——
JM Irn
First downs 7 9
Rushes-yards 40-minus 16 25-220
Passing yards 60 111
Total yards 44 331
Cmp-Att-Int 6-12-2 6-12-1
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 5-48 7-55
Punts-average 8-35.3 4-35.5
Individual Leaders
RUSHING — Johnstown: Wes Myers 11-18, Jaden Jacob 6-11, Nathan Sheets 3-6, Joe Sahr 21-minus 51; Ironton: Reid Carrico 8-117 2TD, Trevor Carter 7-92 TD, Cameron Deere 3-14, Tayden Carpenter 5-0 TD, Jaquez Keyes 2-minus 3.
PASSING — Johnstown: Joe Sahr 6-12-2 60; Ironton: Tayden Carpenter 6-11-1 111 2TD, Will Todd 0-1-0.
RECEIVING — Johnstown: Brandon McConnell 4-34, Nathan Sheets 1-16, Wes Myers 1-10; Ironton: Ashton Duncan 1-54, Reid Carrico 2-38 TD, Aaron Masters 1-11, Erickson Barnes 1-8 TD.