Quick-striking Ironton turns back Jackson, 35-14
Published 4:45 pm Sunday, August 27, 2023
By JIM WALKER
There is a singer named Lou Christie who sings a song with the lyrics “Lightning is striking again and again and again.”
Even though the skies were clear Saturday night, the Ironton Fighting Tigers were using some quick-strike lightning as they beat the Jackson Ironmen 35-14 in the second annual Gridiron Classic at Tanks Memorial Stadium.
Ironton scored 3 touchdowns on the first play of a possession and another on the second play. Shaun “Mr. Electric” Terry was lightning in a bottle that Ironton unleaded as he scored on a 76-yard pass play and 2 runs of 51 and 48. Terry finished with 99 yards rushing on 2 carries and caught 2 passes for 80 yards.
Zayne Williams also had a TD on a first possession play and finished with 93 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Quarterback Bailey Thacker was just 6-of-15 passing but for 160 yards and 2 scores.
“I think the difference in the ball game was we were able to hit some explosive plays hit some throws down the field,” said Ironton coach Trevon Pendleton.
“We were able to get the ball in some of our playmaker hands and they were able to do things with it.”
The first quarter was an exchange of punts until on first down at their own 24-yard line when quarterback Bailey Thacker hit Terry with a pass and the speedy junior took off and made it an unfair foot race for a 76-yard scoring play.
David Fields kicked the first of 5 conversions and it was 7-0 at the 2:19 mark.
Jackson (1-1) answered 74-yard scoring drive that took 13 plays. Nolan Johnson ran the final yard and Ethan Crabtree boomed the conversion to tie the game with 8:08 left in the half.
Ironton (2-0) came right back with an actual scoring drive that started at the Jackson 46 thanks to Aris Pittman’s 34-yard kickoff return.
Although it last 6 plays, there was a big play as Tatum Moore made a nice catch of a Thacker pass for a 23-yard scoring play. It was Moore’s first career touchdown and the lead was 14-7 with 5:14 on the clock.
“That was a great ball and a great catch,” Pendleton said of the touchdown pass play.”
Ironton got to the 49 to start the second half only to fumble the ball away. Jackson used a 42-yard run by Cade Wolford to get to the Ironton 5-yard line but the Ironman fumbled at the one-yard line on the next play and Braden Schreck recovered for Ironton.
The Fighting Tigers drove to the Jackson 38 before the drive stalled and Schreck used a coffin-corner punt to pin Jackson at the 2-yard line.
Unable to move the ball, the Ironmen punted and Terry returned the kick 21 yards to the Jackson 39 where lightning struck again.
This time is was Zayne “The Train” Williams who bulled his way into the secondary and ran away from the defenders for a 39-yard scoring ru and a 21-7 lead with 4:49 left in the third quarter.
But Jackson got a 44-yard kickoff return from Johnson to the Ironton 46 and 8 plays later Johnson ran the final yard into the end zone and it was 21-14 with 2:19 left in the quarter.
After another exchange of punts it was time for lightning to strike again.
On first down at the Ironton 49, Terry took a handoff going right, was cut off and reversed his field to race 51 yards for the touchdown and a 28-14 lead with 7:10 left to play.
Needing 2 scores, Jackson went for the first down on fourth down and came up short at their own 48.
“Their running backs are good and they’re well-coached. They do everything pretty well and we knew that going in so you have to have that bend but don’t break mentality and our kids were able to bow up when they needed to get some stops,” said Pendleton.
After a pass went incomplete, Terry got the ball again and took off on a 48-yard scoring run to put the game out of reach at 35-14 with 4:24 to play.
Ironton had 317 yards rushing as Terry carried twice for 99 yards and Williams 14 times for 93 yards. Thacker was 6-of-15 for 160 yards and 2 TDs.
“We still got some things to clean up. We still got to be able to sustain drives and finish at the end of the game,” Pendleton said.
Jackson ran for 242 yards as Wolford got 144 yards on 21 carries. Ironton held Jackson to 56 yards passing.
On Friday, Ironton will host unbeaten Fairland in an Ohio Valley Conference game.
Jackson 0 7 7 0 = 14
Ironton 7 7 7 14 = 35
Irn — Shaun Terry 76 pass from Bailey Thacker (David Fields kick) 2:19
Jx — Nolan Johnson 1 run (Ethan Crabtree kick) 8:08
Irn — Tatum Moore 23 pass from Bailey Thacker (David Fields kick) 5:18
Irn — Zayne Williams 39 run (David Fields kick) 4:49
Ja — Nolan Johnson 1 run (Ethan Crabtree kick) 2:19
Irn — Shaun Terry 51 run (David Fields kick) 7:10
Irn — Shaun Terry 48 run (David Fields kick) 4:24
First downs 14 19
Rushes-yards 42-242 36-317
Passing yards 56 160
Total yards 298 477
Cmp-Att-Int 6-143-0 6-15-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-50 4-31
Punts-average 4-44.3 2-32.5
RUSHING–Jackson: Cade Wolford 21-144, Nolan Johnson 9-20 2-TD, Eli Broemann 8-59, Bodhi Wolford 3-21, team 1-minus 2; Ironton: Shaun Terry 2-99 2-TD, Zayne Williams 14-93 TD, Gavin Hart 8-48, Jesse Copas 2-26, Bailey Thacker 8-37, Braden Schreck 1-16, team 1-minus 2.
PASSING–Jackson: Bodhi Wolford ; Ironton: Bailey Thacker 6-15-0 160 2-TD.
RECEIVING–Jackson: Ryan Seimetz 3-43, Nolan Johnson 2-16, Eli Broemann 1-minus 3; Ironton: Shaun Terry 2-80 TD, Aris Pittman 1-40, Tatum Moore 1-23 TD, Tyler Roach 1-14, Braden Schreck 1-3.
MISSED FIELD GOALS–None