Fighting Tigers shut down Dragons
Broadway plays have understudies. They are actors who prepare in case something happens to the star.
Ironton’s backfield understudies Garrett Carrico, Chase Rowe and Jaxson Pleasant all filled in well for the starting roles as they helped the Fighting Tigers blank the Fairland Dragons 35-0 on Friday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.
Fullback Desmond Young played about half the offensive plays and still managed 16 carries for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Rowe — who filled in when Young was out and also play some halfback for the injured Andrew Barker — had 40 yards on eight tries while scoring his first touchdown of the season.
Carrico continued to fill the void of the injured D’Angelo Palladino and ran 12 times for 44 yards. Pleasant was spotted at halfback and fullback.
“The guys got the opportunity to play. We’re still banged up pretty good. Palladino is still out, Barker was hurting with a groin injury and we were trying not to ride him too much, and right before the game Desmond was hit and miss. He’s got a stomach virus and he was throwing up. We could have been without all three very easily,” said Ironton coach Mark Vass.
“But those guys stepped up. Chase, Garrett, and Jaxson Pleasant got their opportunity and did well.”
Ironton (2-4, 2-0) racked up 280 yards on the ground on 51 attempts and Jake Isaac also threw for 115 yards and two touchdowns — both to Lucas Campbell — as the Fighting Tigers finished with 395 total yards and 23 first downs.
“Overall (the offensive lined) executed. (Fairland) was bringing the house and shooting every gap. It gave us a little bit of trouble, but once the kids figured out who they were blocking and getting a hat on a hat, they established the line of scrimmage,” said Vass.
Fairland (0-6, 0-3) was held to just 62 net yards for the game including 18 passing. The Dragons had only three first downs.
Vass praised the defensive effort.
“Any time you hold an offense under 100 yards, that’s a great performance, and also the shutout. Any time you get those, you’re real happy with the defense,” said Vass.
“We just did our job and didn’t let any big plays happen and everybody was in the right position. We just contained them all night. That was a great defensive effort.”
Sidney Tucker ran seven times for 37 yards to provide most of the Fairland offense.
Ironton took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on contrasting drives.
The Fighting Tigers went 60 yards in 13 plays capped by Rowe’s 1-yard run as they ate up 5:26 off the clock.
After forcing a punt, Ironton scored in just four plays as Isaac hit Campbell with a 52-yard catch-and-run pass play and it was 14-0 at the 2:23 mark.
Ironton had the ball at the Fairland 37 and 34 only to fumble the ball away in the second quarter.
The Fighting Tigers took the second half kickoff and marched 80 yards in eight plays highlighted by a 34-yard pass to Eli Willis who made a nice over-the-shoulder grab. Young went the final 5 yards for a 21-0 lead.
Following another Fairland punt, Ironton drove 60 yards in 11 plays and taking nearly five minutes off the clock. Isaac hit a wide-open Campbell with a 4-yard pass and Tre Neal’s fourth conversion kick made it 28-0 at the 1:06 mark.
Ironton put the game away and created a running clock when Young’s 3-yard touchdown burst ended a 61-yard, 8-play drive with 6:22 to go.
The win was Ironton’s 400th career victory at home. The Fighting Tigers are 400-157-34 all-time at home. Ironton’s first home game was a 0-0 tie against Portsmouth in 1899.
Fairland 0 0 0 0 = 0
Ironton 14 0 14 7 = 35
Irn — Chase Rowe 1 run (Tre Neal kick) 5:18
Irn — Lucas Campbell 52 pass from Jake Isaac (Tre Neal kick) 2:23
Irn — Desmond Young 5 run (Tre Neal kick) 8:30
Irn — Lucas Campbell 4 pass from Jake Isaac (Tre Neal kick) 1:06
Irn — Desmond Young 3 run (Tre Neal kick) 6:22
First downs 3 23
Rushes-yards 21-44 51-280
Passing yards 18 115
Total yards 62 395
Cmp-Att-Int 4-15-1 5-7-0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 4-3
Penalties-yards 15-147 3-30
Punts-average 7-33.0 0-00.0
RUSHING —Fairland: Sidney Tucker 7-37, Collin Damron 4-18, Keedrick Cunningham 4-3, Joel Lambiotte 6-minus 14; Ironton: Desmond Young 16-122 2-TD, Garrett Carrico 12-44, Chase Rowe 8-40 TD, Jake Isaac 8-36, Andrew Barker 1-3, Lucas Campbell 1-minus 1, Jaxson Pleasant 2-21, Ty Gunther 1-10, Travis Gayhart 1-2, Ethan Duncan 1-3.
PASSING — Fairland: Joel Lambiotte 4-15-1 18; Ironton: Jake Isaac 5-7-0 115 2-TD.
RECEIVING — Fairland: Austin Christian 2-16, Collin Damron 1-2, Keedrick Cunningham 1-0; Ironton: Lucas Campbell 2-56 2-TD, Eli Willis 1-34, Andrew Barker 1-14, Chase Rowe 1-11.