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Ironton tastes sweet semifinal win over Roger Bacon

Chance Short
chance.short@irontontribune.com

LONDON — The Ironton Fighting Tigers have a “sour taste” in their mouth, and defeating Roger Bacon wasn’t sweet enough.
The Fighting Tigers scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to win it 22-19 and advance to the state championship game for the second straight season and a rematch with Kirtland who beat them 17-7 last season.
“We’ve had a sour taste in our mouth since last year, but you’ll get to see two great
defenses again this year and hopefully we make the big plays this year to get it done,” said Ironton senior running back and linebacker Reid Carrico after finding out that the rematch was set.
The game featured future Big 10 and SEC commits that exchanged carries in a state semifinal that did not disappoint.
Carrico busted the game open with an off tackle run to the left for a 78-yard touchdown after Roger Bacon missed a field goal attempt from 36 yards.
The Ironton point after kick was blocked and the Fighting Tigers held a touchdown lead after one quarter.
The Big 10 commit Carrico — headed to Ohio State this spring — scored again to start the second quarter on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Jimmy Mahlmeister’s conversion kick put Ironton up 13-0.
After costly back-to-back fumbles for Ironton that were recovered by the Spartans to set up their first two touchdowns.
Following the first recovery, Logan Huber hit Ryan Hallau on a play-action pass from 20 yards out for Roger Bacon’s first touchdown.
The Spartans tied it up before half after the second fumble, with a little trickery. They ran a reverse to Danny Hudephol, who rose up to pass and found Jake Tschida for 30 yards. The point after kick was missed to tie it at the half,13-13.
“I just can’t say enough about these guys and their resiliency when their backs are against the wall,” said head coach Trevon Pendleton of the Fighting Tigers facing a deficit heading into the fourth.
Ironton’s fumble issues continued in the third and Roger Bacon capitalized again.
Roger Bacon’s Corey Kiner — the LSU commit — got in the mix with rushes of 18 yards and 32 yards that would set him up for a 3-yard touchdown and the lead, 19-13.
Kiner finished with 22 carries for 102 yards.
Carrico gave high praise to Kiner saying, “He’s probably the best player I’ve faced.”
Ironton found themselves with their backs against the wall facing a fourth-and-6 from the 23-yard line of Roger Bacon.
Carrico knew the play that was going to be called and he said, “That play has been big for us for three years now,” and he wasn’t lying as the play propelled them over the Spartans.
The Fighting Tigers lined up in a wishbone set and faked an off-tackle lead run that they had been running all night with a play-action pass that resulted in a wide-open Carrico.
Tayden Carpenter hit Carrico in the chest with the pass and he walked into the end zone for a 23-yard score.
Mahlmeister kicked the point after kick that gave Ironton the lead with 8:01 to play.
After a safety on the next possession by Roger Bacon due to a high snap on their own 10-yard line, the Fighting Tigers punched their ticket to get the bitter taste out of their mouth against the same opponent that caused it.
Ironton (11-0) will have that rematch in the state finals against Kirtland (10-0) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Fortress Obetz in Columbus.
Ironton 6 7 0 9 = 22
Roger Bacon 0 13 6 0 = 19
First Quarter
Irn — Reid Carrico 78 run (kick blocked) 6:59
Second Quarter
Irn – Reid Carrico 1 run (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 10:27
RB – Ryan Hallau 20 pass from Logan Huber (Dylan Rolfert kick) 6:40
RB – Jake Tschida 30 pass from Danny Hudepohl (kick failed) 5:43
Third Quarter
RB – Cory Kiner 3 run (kick failed) 3:37
Fourth Quarter
Irn – Reid Carrico 23 pass from Tayden Carpenter (Jimmy Mahlmeister kick) 8:01
Irn – Safety (Roger Bacon recovers bad snap in end zone) 7:18
——
Irn RB
First downs 13 14
Rushes-yards 43-249 34-94
Passing yards 50 97
Total yards 299 191
Cmp-Att-Int 7-13-0 7-19-1
Fumbles-lost 4-3 2-0
Penalties-yards 12-115 7-49
Punts-average 3-38.7 3-37.7
——
Individual Leaders
RUSHING —Ironton: Reid Carrico 28-181 2TD, Cameron Deere 2-27, Trevor Carter 3-11, Tayden Carpenter 4-11, Kyle Howell 2-15, Terrance West 1-4, Ashton Duncan 1-4, team 2-minus 4; Roger Bacon: Cory Kiner 23-102 TD, Danny Hudepohl 6-16, Jah’mal Hutsell 1-8, Logan Huber 3-minus 15, team 1-minus 17.
PASSING — Ironton: Tayden Carpenter 7-13-0 57 TD; Roger Bacon: Logan Huber 6-18-1 67, Danny Hudepohl 1-1-0 30 TD.
RECEIVING — Ironton: Reid Carrico 3-39 TD, Kyle Howell 1-5, Trent Hacker 1-4, Ashton Duncan 1-2; Roger Bacon: Ryan Hallau 3-39 TD, Jake Tschida 2-40 TD, Danny Hudepohl 1-7, Cory Kiner 1-11.
MISSED FIELD GOAL: Dylan Rolfert, Roger Bacon, 36 (WR).