Ironton outscores Heath in playoffs, 37-28

Published 3:20 am Saturday, November 4, 2023

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Aris Pittman runs toward the end zone as he scores in a 37-28 playoff win over the Heath Bulldogs on Friday. (Jeremy Holtzapfel/


Ironton Fighting Tigers’ quarterback Braden Schreck (12) follows the block of Barkley Litton (53) into the end zone as he scores in a 37-28 playoff win over the Heath Bulldogs on Friday. (Jeremy Holtzapfel/


Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Shane “Mr. Elecric” Terry rims past the Heath defense for a touchdown in a 37-28 playoff win over Heath on Friday. (Jeremy Holtzapfel/


Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Zayne Williams cradles the football. after his 6-yard touchdown catch in the end zone as he scores in a 37-28 playoff win over the Heath Bulldogs on Friday. (Jeremy Holtzapfel/


It was Braden’s Schreck’s birthday but he was giving his Ironton teammates the gift with his playing performance.

So, the Fighting Tigers’ defense decided to give him his gifts in the second half with 3 key interceptions to help fuel a 37-28 win over the Heath Bulldogs in the Division 5 Region 19 playoffs on Friday at Tanks Memorial Stadium.

“It’s probably been my best one,” Schreck said of his birthday.

Ironton built a 24-0 lead with 23 seconds left in the half only to see Heath quarterback Brayden Bayless throw a short swing pass to Connor Corbett who broke a couple of tackles and ran 54 yards for a touchdown with no time on the clock and it was 24-7.

“We made enough plays to win the game,” said Ironton coach Trevon Pendleton. “Bottom line is we’ve got to play better. We’ve got to finish them when we get up. Lesson learned. I hope our kids learned from it.”

Ironton will now play Harvest Prep in the regional semifinals next Friday at a site to be determined, probably Waverly.

Schreck — whose only 2 starts this season have been the playoff  games — made a lot of plays on offense. He was 11-of-22 passing for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns and also ran 15 times for 103 yards and a score.

“I’ve practiced while I played wide receiver and quarterback behind Bailey (Thacker) and Hayden (Carpenter). Getting back into it is mainly timing with your wide receivers,” said Schreck. “I feel more comfortable at quarterback. I think I’m faster than last year from playing wide receiver.”

As usual, Shaun “Mr. Electric” Terry came up with big plays. Terry had 4 receptions for 69 yards and ran 7 times for 62 yards including the clinching touchdown on a 44-yard romp after Heath had drawn within 31-28.

Defensive back Josh Johnson and outside linebacker and defensive back Aris Pittman made big plays as well. Johnson had a pair of interceptions including one for a touchdown that slowed the Bulldogs second half momentum. Pittman also had an interception and Terry got a fumble recovery.

Ironton took the opening kickoff and drove 60 yards in 11 plays capped by Schreck’s 9-yard run. David Fields kicked the conversion and it was 7-0 at the 6:54 mark.

Heath went from its own 17 to the 46 before being forced to punt and Ironton had the ball at its own 21.

A 24-yard run by Zayne Williams started the 9-play drive that reached its conclusion when Schreck hit Pittman with a 15-yard scoring pass for a 14-0 lead.

Heath fumbled at the Ironton 35 and Terry recovered at the 24. Ironton then went on a time-consuming 12-play march with Schreck tossing a 6-yard TD pass to Williams who made a nice catch and it was 21-0 with 3:12 on the clock.

The Bulldogs had a quick 3-and-out and Ironton had the ball at the 48.

A pair of 16-yard passes to Tatum Moore and Terry got the ball to the Heath 14 but the drive stalled at the 10 and Fields connected on a 27-yard field goal with 23 seconds to go in the half and the lead was 24-0.

The Bulldogs got the ball at the 42 and quarterback Brayden Bayles ran for 4 yards. With only 4 seconds left, Bayles threw a swing pass to Corbett who broke a couple of tackles and ran 54 yards for the score and it was 24-7 at the half.

Corbett ripped off a 56-yard run to start the second half to the Ironton 33, but Pittman picked off a pass on the next play. However, Ironton gave the ball back on a fumble at its own 44 and Heath got within 24-14 when Daylen McIntyre made a leaping catch in the end zone at the 7:58 mark.

Ironton turned the ball over on downs at the Heath 20-yard line only to have Johnson pick off a pass and return it 20 yards for a touchdown to put Ironton up 31-14 with 3:08 left in the quarter.

Heath responded by going 68 yards in 9 plays with Bayles going the final yards and it was 31-21 with 11:15 to play.

The Bulldogs recovered an onside kickoff at the Ironton 41 and 6 plays later Bayles hit Conner Toomey who made a nice catch for a 28-yard scoring strike and Cam Montgomery’s kick cut the deficit to 31-28 with 8:53 to play.

“I told the players it’s a new ballgame. We’ve got to go play. Bottom line is, you’re still up. If you get a stop, then go run the ball out and the game’s over. That was our message to them and the kids responded,” said Pendleton. “They did a pretty good job at the end.”

Ironton drove to midfield but was forced to punt and Schreck pinned Heath back at the 8-yard line. The Bulldogs were then forced to punt and Ironton had the ball at the Heath 44.

On the first play, Terry jetted his way through the defense and raced down the sidelines for the score and it was 37-28 with 4:24 to play. Heath began to drive only to have Johnson pick off his second pass and allow Ironton to run the clock down.

Heath was able to run 5 more plays before time expired.

Ironton (11-1) hurt itself with 12 penalties for 106 yards that slowed their drives and helped extend drives by the Bulldogs.

Heath (9-3) had just 3 penalties for 35 yards.

Pendleton paid tribute to the Ironton senior class which has posted a 28-1 career home record.

“Hats off to these seniors. 28-1 home record and the rest of our games from here on out are on the road,” said Pendleton. “I can’t say enough about them. All of them are extremely hard workers. I’m very, very. Proud of these guys.”

Heath    0 7 7 14 = 28

Ironton 7 14 7 6 = 37

First Quarter

Irn — Braden Schreck 9 run (David Fields kick) 6:54

Second Quarter

Irn — Aris Pittman 15 pass from Braden Schreck (David Fields kick) 10:36

Irn — Zayne Williams 6 pass from Braden Schreck (David Fields kick) 3:12

Irn — David Fields 27 field goal 0:23

Hth — Connor Corbett 54 pass from Brayden Bayles (Cam Montgomery kick) 0:00

Third Quarter

Hth — Daylen McIntyre 31 pass from Brayden Bayles (Cam Montgomery kick) 7:58

Irn — Josh Johnson 20 interception return (David Fields kick) 3:08

Fourth Quarter

Hth — Brayden Bayles 1 run (Cam Montgomery kick) 11:15

Hth — Conner Toomey 28 pass from Brayden Bayles (Cam Montgomery kick)

Irn — Shaun Terry 44 run (kick failed) 4:24



First downs 17 15

Rushes-yards 32-220 36-255

Passing yards 155 142

Total yards 375 397

Cmp-Att-Int 10-25-3

Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-1

Penalties-yards 3-35 12-106

Punts-average 2-35.0 2-38.0


Individual Leaders

RUSHING–Heath: Connor Corbett 13-156, Brayden Bayles 14-61 TD, Daylen McIntyre 3-3, Jahki Royster 2-0 ; Ironton: Shaun Terry 7-62 TD, Braden Schreck 15-103 TD, Tyler Carmon 6-56, Zayne Williams 7-40.

PASSING–Heath: Braden Bayles 10-25-3 155 3-TD 3-TD; Ironton: Braden Schreck 11-22-0 142 2-TD.

RECEIVING–Heath: 16 1-7, Conner Toomey 3-38 TD, Connor Corbett 2-56 TD, Daylen McIntyre 3-52 TD, Tyler Marks 1-2; Ironton: Shaun Terry 4-69, Tyler Roach 3-25, Aris Pittman 1-15 TD, Jesse Copas 1-11, Zayne Williams 1-6 TD, Tatum Moore 1-16.