IRONTON — It took two big plays early in the second period to get Ironton untracked and the Fighting Tigers took off from there.
A 88-yard fumble return for a score by Erickson Barnes at the start of the second period sparked Ironton to a 28-point burst for the lead at the half over Coal Grove and the Fighting Tigers continued to roll in the second and recorded a 71-0 win to make Senior Night at success at Bob Lutz Field/Tanks Memorial Stadium.
The 71 points are the second most scored in a game in school history. The record is 100 when Ironton blitzed the Marshall College Reserves (100-0) back in 1960.
Ironton drove to the Coal Grove 1 on its first drive only to lose the ball on a fumble and the Hornets then drove to the Ironton 36 and they fumbled the ball away as the period ended in a scoreless tie.
Two plays later, Ironton quarterback Tayden Carter had a swing pass picked off at its 30. On second and 11 at the 12, Trey Hunt carried, fumbled and Lincoln Barnes did a scoop-and-score dash for 88 yards to stun the Hornets.
After a Coal Grove punt, Ironton had the ball at the visitor’s 34 and on the first play Reid Carrico raced 34 yards around the right side for a 14-0 lead and the floodgates opened. Up to that point, the Fighting Tigers ran just one play and yet scored twice.
“We didn’t get started the way we wanted,” Fighting Tigers coach Trevon Pendleon said. “They did some good stuff early and controlled the ball. One play could change things and Barnes did that. Good hit and he was in the right place.”
Ironton, runner-up in Ohio Division V a year ago, got back to its controlled attack for the next two scores. Trevor Carter ran 2 yards for a TD to capo a 70-yard drive and followed with a 68-yard march capped by Tayden Carpenter’s 9-yard TD pass to Landen Wilson for the score with 18.6 seconds left before halftime.
Ironton scored on its first possession of the third period and the game was played with a running clock from that point. The Fighting Tigers have enjoyed a running clock each week in their 3-0 start.
“We’ve got to do something more,” Pendleton said. “We need good starts. Need to bring the energy. We’re doing a lot of things. We’ve got to get reps, the guys have got to play football.”
In the second half, Ironton’s defense recorded a safety and Terrance West sprinted 70 yards for a TD off a Coal Grove free kick. Coal Grove fumbled seven times and the Fighting Tigers recovered five.
Carrico had nine carries for a tean-leading 162 yards, Carpenter connected on 10 of 16 passes for 141 with one pick. Ironton’s defense limited Coal Grove to 97 total yards, all rushing.
This was the most lopsided win in the series which Ironton leads 9-1.
Coal Grove, which is one exit from Ironton’s home field on U.S. 52, is home next Friday against Gallia Academy. Ironton travels to Rock Hill.
COAL GROVE 0 0 0 0
IRONTON 0 28 21 22 — 71
I--Barnes 88 fumble return (Mahlmeister kick), 10:53.
I--Carrico 34 run (Mahlmeister kick), 8:07.
I--Carter 2 run (Mahlmeister kick), 2:32.
I--Wilson 9 pass from Carpenter (Mahlmeister. kick), 18.6.
I--Carrico 4 run (Mahlmeister kick), 10:33.
I--Hacker 15 pass from Carpenter (Mahlmeister kick), 6:06.
I--York 20 pass from Carpenter (Mahlmeister kick), 3:09.
I--Deere 7 run (Mahlmeister kick), 11:52.
I--Carter 42 run (Howell kick), 6:09.
I--Ferguson tackled in end zone, 2:31.
I--West 70 kickoff return (kick failed), 1:07.
First downs 11 13
Rushes-yards 43-97 18-243
Comp-att-int 0-2-0 10-16-1
Passing yards 0 141
Total offense 97 384
Penalties 2-10 4-25
Fumbles/lost 7-5 2-1
RUSHING — Coal Grove, Wheeler 11-29, Stapleton 12-34, Hunt 7-35, Ferguson 9-4, Simpson 4-minus 5. Ironton, Carrico 9-162, Deere 1-9, Carter 6-73. Carpenter 2-minus 1.
PASSING — Coal Grove, Ferguson 0-2-0. Ironton, Carpenter 10-16-1.
RECEIVING — Coal Grove, none. Ironton, York 1-20, Carrico 2-44. Hacker 3-53, Masters 2-9, Howell 1-6, Wilson 1-9.