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Ryan Fischer/The Herald-Dispatch The Fighting Tigers' junior Reid Carrico (28) runs a play as Ironton opens up the 2019 football season against Wheelersburg on Friday, August 30, 2019, at Tanks Memorial Stadium in Ironton.

IRONTON — Reid Carrico is the No. 1-rated inside linebacker in the class of 2021, according to numerous recruiting services.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior is an excellent running back, too, as he showed Friday night in Ironton's 30-6 victory over Wheelersburg at Tanks Memorial Stadium. Carrico ran 24 times for 144 yards and three touchdowns, displaying pounding power, bursts of speed and premier athleticism that makes him a coveted recruit by nearly every major college program.

"Reid's a hard-working kid," Fighting Tigers coach Trevon Pendleton said. "You can't say enough about him. But honestly, our whole team shows up every day and works. Reid is just one of those kids who everything he's got he's earned. I'm just happy to see him get out there and perform."

Wheelersburg has been a nemesis of Ironton's for nearly a decade, winning the last eight games in the series.

On Friday, more than 10,000 people showed up for the area's premier game and Carrico gave them a show.

"The lights are never too big for that kid," Pendleton said.

The Tigers led just 3-0 at halftime, but made a statement drive to begin the third quarter. Carrico returned the second half kickoff 41 yards to the 43-yard line and, set up by a three-tackle-breaking 36-yard run by Seth Fosson, scored on an eight-yard run with 9:49 left in the period. Carrico literally ran off the left tackle's hip, bouncing outside and racing into the end zone for a 10-0 lead.

Wheelersburg rallied, scoring on a 67-yard run by Makya Matthews on its next drive, but the extra point attempt was blocked - by Carrico.

With the Pirates back in the game, Ironton responded with a touchdown of its own, a four-yard run by Carrico with 1:55 left in the third quarter. Carrico added a 15-yard scoring jaunt following a tremendous block by Fosson with 5:01 left in the game.

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