Ironton loses beauty contest but beats Pirates 12-3

Published 12:13 am Saturday, August 20, 2022

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ defensive back Cole Freeman (40) wraps up Wheelersburg’s Creed Warren during Friday’s game. Ironton won 12-3. (Robert S. Stevens/The Gold Studio in Ironton)

By Jim Walker

WHEELERSBURG — Football games are not a beauty pageant.
Only the beauties have a chance to win a pageant but a win in football comes any way you can get it.
The Ironton Fighting Tigers didn’t have the prettiest of performances on Friday but they shut down the Wheelersburg Pirates’ offense and came away with a 12-3 win in the season opener for both teams.
“Obviously, it wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day of the week,” said Ironton coach Trevon Pendleton.
“The beauty about it is at the end of the year when the records go up, they don’t have an asterisk next to it saying how you got it done.”
Wheelersburg had the ball nearly eight more minutes than Ironton but only had 6 more yards: 186 to 180.
But despite Ironton’s inexperience offensive and defensive lines going against a veteran Pirates line, the Fighting Tigers were able to bend but not break.
“It’s a testament to our kids. To be honest, I don’t feel I called a good game and helped out kids out, but a testament to our kids to figure out how to get it done,” said Pendleton.
“I think the sky’s the limit for us. We just have to get those first game jitters out of the way.”
Wisconsin commit Jaquez Keyes is coming off an injury and ran 11 times for 36 yards for Ironton.
But Amari Fielder had 68 yards on 9 carries and Bailey Thacker added 21 yards on three attempts as Ironton ran 28 times for 141 yards.
“It was a little thunder and lightning back there. Jaquez has been nursing an injury so we knew he wasn’t going to get the brunt of the load yet. Jaquez, Amari and Trevor Carter back there are forces,” said Pendleton.
Wheelersburg was led by Ethan Glover with 51 yards on nine carries and Derrick Lattimore had 41 yards on 11 tries.
The Pirate scored first on a 25-yard field goal by Conner Estep with just 1:50 to play in the first quarter.
Ironton did threaten but an interception in the end zone halted that drive.
The Fighting Tigers did manage to finish a drive in the second quarter as Tayden Carpenter hit Ty Perkins with a 6-yard scoring pass.
The conversion pass failed and it was 6-3 with 5:03 to go in the half.
“We’ve got weapons all over the field. We have to do a better job getting them the ball. But we’re going to do it,” said Pendleton.
Neither team scored in the third quarter and Ironton added an insurance touchdown with 2:45 to play when Fielder ran 9 yards into the end zone.
The conversion kick failed and Ironton was sitting on a 12-3 lead
‘We knew we were going to get their best punch. We tell our kids you’ve got two options. You got to be the storm or you’ve got to withstand the storm.
“We withstood the storm until we got a little glimmer and then we were the storm for a little bit,” said Pendleton.
“Wheelersburg played hard. They have a good team. They had a great game plan.”
Ironton travels to Jackson next Friday.
Ironton 0 6 0 6 = 12
Wheelersburg 3 0 0 0 = 3
First Quarter
Wh – Conner Estep 25 field goal 1:50
Second Quarter
In — Ty Perkins 6 pass from Tayden Carpenter (pass failed) 5:03
Fourth Quarter
Ian — Amari Fielder 9 run (kick failed) 2:45
Irn Wh
First downs 11 10
Rushes-yards 28-141 38-171
Passing yards 39 15
Total yards 180 186
Cmp-Att-Int 7-13-1 2-10-1
Fumbles-lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 5-32 10-66
Punts-average 4-43.3 5-39.4
Time of possession 20:07 27:53
Individual Leaders
RUSHING–Ironton: Amari Fielder 9-68 TD, Jaquez Keyes 11-36, Bailey Thacker 3-21, Tayden Carpenter 3-12, Lincoln Barnes 1-6, Trevor Carter 1-minus 2; Wheelersburg: Ethan Glover 9-51, Derrick Lattimore 11-41, Jake Darling 6-28, Eli Jones 8-28, Eric Lattimore 1-15, Creed Warren 3-8.
PASSING–Ironton: Tayden Carpenter 7-13-1 39 TD; Wheelersburg: Eli Jones 2-10-1 15.
RECEIVING–Ironton: Braden Schreck 3-22, Ty Perkins 1-6 TD, Landen Wilson 1-5, Lincoln Barnes 1-5, Amari Fielder 1-1; Wheelersburg: Caleb Arthurd 2-15.

Email newsletter signup