Ironton applies early knockout punch to beat Panthers
Published 12:13 am Saturday, September 23, 2023
By JIM WALKER
CHESAPEAKE — The Ironton Fighting Tigers did their best impression of Tyson Fury fighting Dillian Whyte.
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In that fight, Fury knocked out Whyte early in the sixth round in what was supposed to be Fury’s final heavyweight fight.
Ironton didn’t wait for the second, third or fourth quarters to apply their knockout as they scored 4 touchdowns in the first quarter including a pair within 18 seconds as they beat the Chesapeake Panthers 48-7 in an Ohio Valley Conference game on Friday.
Ironton (5-1, 3-0) scored on its first 7 possessions of the game and built a 48-0 halftime lead.
Head coach Trevon Pendleton said the Fighting Tigers have been battling injuries and have had to make some positions moves to cope with the situation. He was pleased with how the team has overcome the injuries over the past few weeks.
“We need to get consistently better. That’s something we preach to them all the time. Our motto is 3 percent better and we do that every day we like where we’re going to be,” said Pendleton.
“(We want) the consistency and the little things — discipline and focus. Some of it we did really well, some of it we didn’t. Our kids are working at it hard and playing new position. It’s the nature of D5 football. When a guy gets hurt we’ve got to shuffle a few guys around and maybe that’s a little of the factor.”
Ironton (5-1, 3-0) forced a 3-and-out to start the game and then went 5 yards in just 4 plays with Zayne “The Train” Williams powering his way into the end zone from 14 yards out for a 7-0 lead at the 8:37 mark of the first quarter.
Chesapeake fumbled on its first play after the kickoff and Ironton’s Ben Sloan recovered at the 2-yard line. Williams scored on the next play and it was 13-0 with 8:19 on the clock.
An interception by Connor Lowe gave Ironton the ball 3 plays later and he returned the pick to the Panthers’ 12-yard line. Bailey Thacker threw to Shaun “Mr. Electric” Terry on the next play and it was 20-0 with 6:16 left in the quarter.
Another short punt gave Ironton the ball at the Panthers 45 and 6p lays later Jesse Copas fought his way through the Panthers’ defense for a 14-yard scoring jaunt to make it 27-0 at the 2:59 mark.
With the Panthers on the ropes, Ironton went for the knockout and scored 3 more times in the second quarter.
Chesapeake fumbled the punt snap and Iornotn got the ball at the Panthers’ 41.
Quarterback Braden Schreck ran 25 yards to the 16, Williams carried to the one and Schreck finished off the quick drive to make it 34-0 with 10:26 left in the half.
Dannie Maynard returned the kickoff 51 yards to the Ironton 38 but the Panthers fumbled the ball away and Ironton covered at the 23.
Schreck threw 16 yards to Nick Sites, Williams ran for 16 more, Tyler Carmon ran for 15 and 40 yards and Schreck took over as he ran for 19 and then threw the final 11 yards to Braydon Baker who scored his first career touchdown to make it 41-0 at the 7:16 mark.
The Panthers came up short on a fourth down play at their own 44.
Thacker ran 24 yards to the 20 and then threw to Aris Pittman for a score on the next play to make it 48-0 with 4:48 left in the half.
Pendleton said getting a lot of the younger players on the field under game conditions was a big bonus for the team.
“Obviously, it isn’t something you can replicate. No matter what type of practice you structure, playing under the lights on Friday night is something you can’t replicate,” said Pendleton.
Chesapeake (3-3, 0-3) avoided the shutout with a 48-yard, 7-play drive as Philip Thacker ran one-yard for the score with 6:57 to play. The touchdown was set up by a Jacob Harris pass in which Dannie Maynard made a nice catch for a 15-yard gain to the one.
Ironton finished with 327 total yards with Ironton running 26 times for 254 yards. Williams had 86 yards on 7 carries and Carmon came off the bench to get 77 yards on 3 carries.
Thacker was 3-of-6 for 46 yards and 2 touchdowns while Schreck 2-of-5 for 27 yards and a TD. Terry — who got offers earlier in the day from Illinois and West Virginia — caught 2 passes for 26 yards and a score.
Harris was 6-of-10 passing for 112 yards and 2 picks. Maynard caught 3 passes for 38 yards and Ethan Kerns had a big 49-yard reception.
Harris also ran 12 times for 43 yards while Camron Shockley added 40 yards on 13 carries.
Next Friday, Ironton will host Rock Hill and Chesapeake goes to Portsmouth in OVC games.
Ironton 27 21 0 0 = 48
Chesapeake 0 0 0 7 = 7
Irn — Zayne Williams 14 run (David Fields kick) 8:37
Irn — Zane Williams 2 run (kick failed) 8:19
Irn — Shaun Terry 12 pass from Bailey Thacker (David Fields kick) 6:16
Irn —Jesse Copas 14 run (David Fields kick) 2:59
Irn — Braden Schreck 1 run (David Fields kick) 10:26
Irn — Braydon Baker 11 pass from Braden Schreck (David Fields kick) 7:15
Irn — Aris Pittman 20 pass from Bailey Thacker (David Fields kick) 4:48
Ch — Philip Thacker 1 run (Nate Mills kick) 6:57
First downs 14 9
Rushes-yards 26-254 42-94
Passing yards 73 112
Total yards 327 204
Cmp-Att-Int 5-14-0 6-10-2
Fumbles-lost 2-0 6-2
Penalties-yards 9-95 7-55
Punts-average 1-46.0 2-18.0
RUSHING–Ironton: Zayne Williams 7-86 2-TD, Tyler Carmon 3-77, Braden Schreck 3-45 TD, Bailey Thacker 2-26, Jesse Cpas 2-19 TD, Kayden Edwards 2-minus 6, Daryn Harvey 3-2, Tyson Harvey 1-6; Chesapeake: Camron Shockley 13-40, Jacob Harris 12-43, Philip Thacker 8-25 TD, Andrew Daniels 2-13, Dannie Maynard 3-minus 9, Drew Plants 1-minus 5, Mason Giles 1-4, Team 2-minus 17.
PASSING–Ironton: Bailey Thacker 3-6-0 462-TD, Braden Schreck 2-5-0 27 TD, Kayden Edwards 0-1; Chesapeake: Jacob Harris 6-10-2.
RECEIVING–Ironton: Shaun Terry 2-26 TD, Nick Sites 1-16, Braydon Baker 1-11 TD, Aris Pittman 1-20; Chesapeake: Dannie Maynard 3-38, Ethan Kerns 1-49, Camron Shockley 1-4, Jackson Spitler 1-21