Ironton beats Trojans again to reach regional semifinals

Published 11:42 pm Friday, November 4, 2022

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Jaquez Keyes lowers his shoulders as he gets ready to power his way into the end zone. Ironton beat the Portsmouth Trojans 48-7 in the Division 5 playoff quarterfinals on Friday. (Jeremy Holtzapfel/

By Jim Walker


Well, that was quick.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers were in fast-forward as they rolled past the Portsmouth Trojans 48-7 in the Division 5 quarterfinals on Friday.

Ironton scored its first 3 touchdowns with just 2-play drives and then had a 3-play to end the first half with a 35-0 lead. And with a running clock, the second half was over quickly and Ironton’s second unit got a score with a 5-play drive.

Ironton )11-0) came out in a wishbone set to start the game and Jaquez Keyes ran 38 yards on the first play and Tayden Carpenter threw 22 yard to a wide-open Landen Wilson for a catch-and-run touchdown just 37 seconds into the game.

Fighting Tigers’ coach Trevon Pendleton admitted that he only decided to open the game in the wishbone set earlier in the day and it worked in getting Ironton off to a quick start.

“That was me about noon today. We flipped our script a little bit and went to that early and we liked the way we got an alignment the last time we was in it,” said Pendleton.

“We understood what we was going to do out of it and we wanted to establish it a little bit tonight.”

Keyes finished with 118 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 7 carries as Ironton rushed for 135 yards on only 18 attempts. Carpenter was 7-of-9 passing for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns and Ironton had 182 passing yards overall for 317 total yards.

Ty Perkins caught 3 passes for 74 yards including a pair of clutch 31-yard grabs.

“They done a lot of things well. They bought into our game plan and understood what we was trying to do and our offensive staff put together a great script of early calls and put us in a situation to win and our kids went out and they executed.

The Trojans (7-5) were limited to 162 total yards with only 39 net yards rushing due to a minus 33 yards in sacks. Tyler Duncan was 15-of-19 passing for 123 yards and a score. Brenden Truett ran 14 times for 58 yards, Jayden Duncan caught 6 passes for 54 yards and a TD while Beau Hammond had 6 receptions for 52 yards.

After Ironton’s quick 2-pay, 60-yard drive to start the game, Portsmouth was forced to punt and Ironton had the ball at the Trojans 35.

Carpenter hit Shaun Terry with a 17-yard pop pass and then Keyes ran 18 yards for the score and it was 14-0 at the 8:50 mark.

The defense got a 10-yard sack that forced the Trojans to punt. Braylon Sturgill blocked the kick and DeAngelo Weekly returned the ball 29 yards to the 1-yard line.

Weekly stayed in the game and scored on a 1-yard run two plays later and Evan Williams’ conversion kick made it 21-0 with 5:05 left in the quarter.

Ironton stalled at the Trojans’ 27-yard line due to a 4-yard sack and a pair of dropped passes. But on their next possession, Ironton went 67 yards in 6 plays capped by Keyes’ 42-yard scoring run and it was 28-0 with 6:45 on the clock.

Following another Portsmouth punt, Ironton had the ball at midfield. Carpenter was sacked for an 8-yard loss but he then hit Perkins for 31 yards and Braden Schreck for 27 yards and a touchdown to make it 35-0 with 4:25 left in the half.

The Fighting Tigers’ jayvees took over in the second half and forced a punt, then went 50 yards in 5 plays as Bailey Thacker hit C.J. Martin in the end zone on a 22-yard scoring pass and it was 41-0.

Portsmouth went 65 yards in 8 plays with Tyler Duncan hitting Jayden Duncan on an 8-yard scoring pass. Zach Roth’s conversion kick made it 41-7 early in the fourth quarter.

The Fighting Tigers answered with a 55-yard 7-play march for the game’s final score. Schreck hit Thacker with an 19-yard pass that set up a 16-yard scoring run by Jesse Thacker. David Fields’ kick set the final score.

Ironton will play Portsmouth West on Friday in the regional semifinals at a site to be determined, probably Portsmouth.

“Number one, these kids want to protect the Tank (Tanks Stadium).They lock in and they understand the significance of the playoffs and what playoff football means in Ironton. Our kids approach it in the right way and have the right mentality about it,” said Pendleton.

Portsmouth     0     0     0     7     =     7

Ironton           21    14    6     7     =     48

First Quarter

Irn — Landen Wilson 22 pass from Tayden Carpenter (Evan Williams kick) 11:23

Irn — Jaquez Keyes 18 run (Evan Williams kick) 8:50

Irn — DeAngelo Weekly 1 run (Evan Williams kick) 5:01

Second Quarter

Irn — Jaquez Keyes 42 run (Evan Williams kick) 6:45

Irn — Braden Schreck 27 pass from Tayden Carpenter (Evan Williams kick) 4:25

Third Quarter

Irn — C.J. Martin 22 pass from Bailey Thacker (kick failed) 6:11

Fourth Quarter

Prt — Jayden Duncan 8 pass from Tyler Duncan (Zach Roth kick) 10:11

Irn — Jesse Copas 16 run (David Fields kick) 5:26


Prt   Irn

First downs     11    15

Rushes-yards  21-39      18-135

Passing yards  123  182

Total yards     162  317

Cmp-Att-Int    15-19-0   9-12-0

Fumbles-lost   0-0  1-0

Penalties-yards       2-20 3-35

Punts-average 5-26.0     0-00.0


Individual Leaders

RUSHING–Portsmouth: Brenden Truett 14-58, Beau Hammond 3-5, J.T. Williams 1-0, Tyler Duncan 3-minus 33; Ironton: Jaquez Keyes 7-118 2TD, Kanden Wilson 1-11, Jesse Copas 2-17 TD, C.J. Martin 1-8, DeAngelo Weekly 2-1 TD, Zayne Williams 3-3, Tayden Carpenter 2-minus 12.

PASSING–Portsmouth: Tyler Duncan 15-19-0 123 TD; Ironton: Tayden Carpenter 7-9-0 141 2TD, Bailey Thacker 1-2-0 22 TD, Braden Schreck 1-1-0 19.

RECEIVING–Portsmouth: Jayden Duncan 6-54 TD, Beau Hammond 6-52, Nathaniel Berry 1-2, Brenden Truet 1-5, Chase Heiland 1-10; Ironton: Ty Perkins 3-74, Landen Wilson 2-23 TD, Braden Schreck 1-27 TD, C.J. Martin 1-22 TD, Shaun Terry 1-17, Bailey Thacker 1-19.