Ironton, Harvest Prep to match skill, athleticism

Published 2:29 am Wednesday, November 16, 2022

By Jim Walker

The Ironton Fighting Tigers could see this collision course coming a long time ago.

Email newsletter signup

Ironton and the Harvest Prep Warriors are meeting Friday at Waverly in the Division 5 Region 19. Both teams are 13-0 and Ironton head coach Trevon Pendleton said this meeting appeared almost inevitable.

“It’s not real football, but we played them 7-on-7 back in June or July at Pickerington North,” said Pendleton.

“They’re good. They’re fast and they’re athletic. We kind of knew they were going to be there in Region 19 and be a contender, so we told our kids to go ahead and give us some matchups.”

The two teams only previous meeting was in the 2020 playoffs when Ironton used a strong defense to beat the Warriors 21-14 at Tanks Memorial Stadium.

In that game, Ironton limited Harvest Prep to 150 total yards including just 45 yards rushing. Reid Carrico had 2 short touchdown runs and current Ironton quarterback Tayden Carpenter went 27 yards for what proved to be the deciding score in the third quarter for a 21-7 lead.

Conversely, Ironton ran for 233 yards.

The rematch will feature the starting quarterbacks from that game. Carpenter — a first team all-district selection — is now a senior as is Warriors’ 6-foot-2, 195-pound Aidan Rogers who was also a first team All-Central District pick.

“The quarterback is really fast, too. Someone said he’s a really good 200 (meters) runner in track. In the Wheelersburg film, he popped one down the sideline late in the game for about 50 yards and he was running away from people,” said Pendleton. “He can throw the deep ball and when he keeps the ball he’s really dangerous.”

Junior running back Marchello Cox (5-10, 180) was first team all-district and has rushed for more than 1,000 yards.

“They’re very athletic . They’ve got a lot of team speed. They like to do a lot of things on the perimeter. When they get to the edge, (Cox) is a really good player. He has great balance and the kid can motor. Whatever film you pop in, there’s a long run here and a long run there,” said Pendleton.

The Warriors have outscored their opponents 536-to-148 which means they score 41.2 points a game while allowing just 11.4 points per game.

Harvest Prep beat Bishop Hartley 40-35 this season in their only really close game this season before beat Wheelersburg 25-21 last week.

“They play those big D-linemen but I think their best D-lineman is the little ones (Desmond Porter and Earnest Pierce). They’re both really good players,” said Pendleton.

Porter is a 5-8, 170-pound freshman while Pierce is a 6-foot, 180-pound junior.

Ironton has scored 533 points while allowing 140 yards, meaning the Fighting Tigers have scored an average of 41 points a game while giving up 10.8 points per game.

As for close games, Ironton beat Wheelersburg 12-3 in the season opener and then beat Division 3 Jackson 29-26.

Ironton’s only other close game was a 29-22 win over Gallipolis in week 9.

Not only are the numbers relatively the same, but Pendleton said the Warriors defense reminds him of his own team.. And, he aid the Warriors are all about speed.

“They’re fast. They like to cover you up and free up their linebackers. But they are fast. You flip on the film and they have guys who can get after the quarterback and kind of speed the offense up. They can cover a lot of ground,” said Pendleton.

“Honestly, they kind of remind me a lot of us on defense.”

Besides Rogers and Cox, also named to the first team all-district  team were 6-1, 170 junior wide receiver Chris Brown, senior offensive lineman Preston Ross (6-0, 230), senior defensive lineman Xavier Cain (6-2, 309) and Pierce, 6-foot, 180-pound junior.

Named special mention were senior Justin Batista (6-0, 165) and junior defensive back Elijah Brown (5-5, 160).

Ironton Fighting Tigers

Offensive Lineup

Pos Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.

WR Ty Perkins 3 6-03 185 Sr.

WR Landen Wilson 15 5-10 170 Sr.

Shaun Terry145-10165So.

LT Hunter Moore 71 6-01 275 Sr.

LG Bowen Gossett 77 6-02 260 So.

C Tanner Moore 66 5-11 220 Sr.

RG Aiden Layne 52 6-00 225 So.

RT Noah Patterson 64 6-02 255 Jr.

TE Bailey Thacker 11 6-03 215 Jr.

QB Tayden Carpenter 10 6-00 190 Sr.

RB Jaquez Keyes 5 6-00 215 Sr.

PK Evan Williams 31 5-05 125 Sr.

Defensive Lineup

Pos. Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.

DE Bailey Thacker 11 6-03 215 Jr.

DT Noah Patterson 64 6-02 255 Jr.

DT Aiden Layne 52 6-00 225 So.

DE DeAngelo Weekly 33 5-10 205 Sr.

OLB Jaquez Keyes 5 6-00 215 Sr.

Braylon Sturgill205-10185So.

OLB Cole Freeman 40 5-10 175 Sr.

ILB Lincoln Barnes 32 6-00 205 Sr.

ILB Trevor Carter 2 6-02 210 Sr.

CB C.J. Martin 22 6-02 175 Sr.

CB Landen Wilson 15 5-10 170 Sr.

S Amari Felder 7 5-09 190 Sr.

S Aiden Young 8 5-11 185 Sr.

Ty Perkins36-03185Sr.

P Braden Schreck 12 6-02 180 So.

Harvest Prep Warriors

Defensive Lineup

Pos. Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.

DE Marquez Colvin 25 6-03 190 So.

DT Rashad Debose 50 5-08 220 Sr.

Desmond Porter175-08170Fr.

DT Xavier Cain 62 6-02 309 Sr.

DE Khalil Daniels 24 6-03 190 So.

LB Ebenezer Ankamah 54 6-00 220 Fr.

LB Shavez Watkins 7 5-10 200 So.

LB Marchello Cox 4 5-10 180 Jr.

CB Earnest Pierce 5 6-00 180 Jr.

CB Elijah Brown 1 5-05 160 Jr.

Jordan Upton25-09170Sr.

SS Chris Brown 11 6-01 170 Jr.

FS Javlon Green 9 5-10 200 Sr.

P Aidan Rogers 12 6-02 195 Sr.

Offensive Lineup

Pos. Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.

TE Marquez Colvin 25 6-03 190 So.

LT Jaylon Ray 53 6-00 210 Jr.

LG Preston Ross 52 6-00 170 Sr.

C Christian Anthony 55 5-08 255 So.

RG Xavier Cain 62 6-02 309 Sr.

RT Rashad Debose 50 5-08 220 Sr.

QB Aidan Rogers 12 6-02 195 Sr.

RB Marchello Cox 4 5-10 180 Jr.

Shavez Watkins75-10200So.

WR Chris Brown 11 6-01 170 Jr.

Justin Batista36-00165Sr.

WR Jordan Upton 2 5-09 170 Sr.

Javlon Green95-10200Sr.

PKQuentrell Hannah766-00230So.

Ironton Fighting Tigers (13-0)

Ironton 12 at Wheelersburg 3

Ironton 29 at Jackson 26

Ironton 34 at Fairland 13

Ironton 32 Johnson Central, Ky. 21

Ironton 55 South Point 12

Ironton 62 Chesapeake 0

Ironton 49 at Rock Hill 7

Ironton 55 Coal Grove 6

Ironton 29 Gallipolis 22

Ironton 42 at Portsmouth 7

Division 5 Playoffs

Ironton 51 Minford 7

Ironton 48 Portsmouth 7

Ironton 35 Portsmouth West 7

Ironton vs. Harvest Prep at Waverly

Harvest Prep Warriors (13-0)

Harvest Prep 20 at Bloom-Carroll 7

Harvest Prep 40 Bishop Hartley 35

Harvest Prep 43 at Eastmoor Academy 6

Harvest Prep 38 at Columbus Academy 16

Harvest Prep 54 at Grandview Heights 7

Harvest Prep 41 Bishop Ready 7

Harvest Prep 40 Bexley 3

Harvest Prep 51 at Whtehall-Yearling 18

Harvest Prep 43 at Licking Heights 0

Harvest Prep 47 Buckeye Valley 12

Division 5 Playoffs

Harvest Prep 47 Meigs 0

Harvest Prep 47 West Muskingum 16

Harvest Prep 25 Wheelersburg 21

Harvest Preps vs. Ironton at Waverly

Head coach: Milan Smith