Ironton makes the best choice in win over Pointers

Published 10:44 pm Sunday, September 17, 2023

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ defensive lineman Jesse Copas (44) spent the night harassing South Point Pointers’ quarterback Xathan Haney in a 42-8 win last Friday. (Jeremy Holtzapfel/


Ironton Fighting Tigers’ running back Tyler Carmon goes into the end zone for a touchdown during a 42-8 OVC win over teh South Point Pointers. (Jeremy Holtzapfel/


Ironton Fighting Tigers’ wide receiver Shaun Terry goes high into the air to make a catch. The play was wiped out due to a penalty. (Jeremy Holtzapfel/


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SOUTH POINT — The Ironton Fighting Tigers were coming off a tough loss to Class 3A power Cabell Midland last week and were faced with a decision between two choices.

It was an easy decision to make and it proved to be an impressive decision as the Fighting Tigers bounced back from the loss and rolled past the South Point Pointers 42-8 in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Friday.

“You don’t have to do much after a loss. It humbles you and you’ve got one of two choices. You can fold up shop and go home or you can bow up and work to get better. We chose to work to get better,” said Ironton coach Trevon Pendleton.

“We’re a good team but we’ve got a long way to go to be a great team. We’ve got to clean up a lot of details.”

The cleaning up started with their offense. The Fighting Tigers had 400 yards of total offense including 258 on the ground.

Zayne “The Train” Williams ran 7 times for 138 yards to lead the ground game. Tyler Carmon carried 6 times for 58 yards and a score while Jesse Copas got 27 yards on 6 carries and a touchdown.

Quarterback Bailey Thacker was 6-of-6 for 121 yards and a touchdown and Braden Schreck was 2-of-3 for 21 yards and also caught 2 passes for 60 yards.

“Braden Schreck’s like another running back back there. He can play quarterback and he can play multiple positions. And people forget that Bailey Thacker is one of our most physical blockers and it’s kind of an idea we had going back and watching some film of last year and some of the things Bailey can do. It’s really hard to defend that two tight end formation ace look. It was something we wanted to do and it was effective.”

“You’ve got some guys who are able to do some things and you have some guys who have done well in practice and you want to give them a reward and give them a shot to show what they’re capable of,” said Pendleton.

Ironton held the Pointers to 178 total yards. Quarterback Xathan Haney was 4-of-16 for 61 yards and an interception and the running game got 117 yards but 69 came on the final play of the game against Ironton’s backups.

Ironton forced two turnovers as Williams had a strip tackle and fumble recovery and Maddix Markel picked off a pass.

Pendleton was pleased with his team’s defensive effort.

“The kids are playing hard. We’ve got to force more turnovers. Zayne Williams made an awesome play. He ran the guy down, saw the ball was loose and grabbed it. We’ve got to do more of that,” said Pendleton.

“On the interception, both him (Markel) and Shaun Terry went for it. As long as one of them came down with it, I’m happy.”

Ironton (4-1, 2-0) took a 14-0 first quarter lead on a couple of 7-play drives.

Aris Pittman caught a 4-yard scoring pass from Thacker to cap a game-opening drive covering 58 yards and followed that with a 75-yard march as Thacker ran the final 4 yards for the score. David Fields kicked both conversions.

With the aid of three Ironton penalties, the Pointers got to the Ironton 4-yard line only to have the drive stall.

But the Pointers tackled Shaun Terry in the end zone on first down for a safety and it was 14-2 with 9:19 left in the half.

Ironton forced a punt and then went 56 yards in 7 plays capped by Carmon’s 10-yard touchdown run and it was 21-2.

South Point (3-2, 1-1) was forced to punt again and Ironton used a 41-yard pass to Tyler Roach to reach the Pointers’ 29 and three plays later Thacker went one-yard for the score and a 28-2 halftime lead.

Williams had his strip tackle and fumble recovery early in the third quarter and Ironton scored on Schreck’s 1-yard touchdown run to make it 35-2.

Williams had runs of 29 and 36 yards to open the fourth quarter and then Copas ran 13 yards for a touchdown and it was 42-2 with 6:50 to play.

Eli Wilburn ran 69 yards for a touchdown with 18 seconds left to set the final score.

Next Friday, Ironton visits Chesapeake and South Point travels to Rock Hill.

Ironton     14 14 7 7 = 42

South Point 0 2 0 6 = 8

First Quarter

Irn — Aris Pittman 4 pass from Bailey Thacker (David Fields kick) 9:12

Irn — Bailey Thacker 4 run (David Fields kick) 4:11

Second Quarter

SP — Safety (running back tackled in end zone) 9:19

Irn — Tyler Carmon 10 run (David Fields kick) 3:25

Irn — Bailey Thacker 1 run (David Fields kick) 0:34

Third Quarter

Irn — Braden Schreck 1 run (David Fields kick) 8:00

Fourth Quarter

Irn — Jesse Copas 13 run (David Fields kick) 6:50

SP — Eli Wilburn 69 run (kick failed) 0:18



First downs 18 9

Rushes-yards 28-258 29-117

Passing yards 142 61

Total yards 400 178

Cmp-Att-Int 8-9-0 4-16-1

Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1

Penalties-yards 10-95 5-65

Punts-average 0-00.0 3-35.7


Individual Leaders

RUSHING–Ironton: Zayne Williams 7-138, Tyler Carmon 6-58 TD, Jesse Copas 6-27 TD, Bailey Thacker 6-13 TD, Braden Schreck 3-22 TD; South Point: Blaine Freeman 16-33, Eli Wilburn 3-70 TD, Gage Chapman 1-4, Aydden Collins 1-1, Xathan Haney 7-9, Corey Otzenberger 1-0.

PASSING–Ironton: Bailey Thacker 6-6-0 121 TD, Braden Schreck 2-3-0 21; South Point: Xathan Haney 4-16-1 61.

RECEIVING–Ironton: Tyler Roach 2-69, Braden Schreck 2-62, Shaun Terry 1-4, Aris Pittman 1-4 TD, Bailey Thacker 1-3; South Point: Kam Miller 1-34, Eli Wilburn 1-30, Blaine Freeman 2-minus 3.