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Ironton quarterback Gage Salyers (7) hurdles a defender as he goes in for a score against Wellston in the first round of the Ohio Division V high school football playoffs Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at Tanks Memorial Stadium in Ironton.

IRONTON, Ohio — Ironton and Wellston had not met on the football field since 1981, but the two teams played each other at Ironton’s Bob Lutz Field at Tanks Memorial Stadium for the OHSSA Division V, Region 19 quarterfinal Saturday.

The Fighting Tigers advanced to the regional semifinals with a 56-6 win over the Rockets. Ironton (10-1) will meet Amanda Clearcreek (9-2) at a neutral site to be determined.

Ironton used an early mix of running and passing to throw Wellston’s defense off balance, but it was the ground game that did the damage with two touchdown runs early and a 36-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Gage Salyers to Collin Freeman that gave the Ohio Valley Conference champions a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Salyers added another touchdown pass through the air, a perfect strike to Jordan Grizzle, and then added a pair of touchdowns from eight and 32 yards to build a 42-0 lead.

A flurry of scoring led to a 49-6 halftime lead including a 44-yard run by Salyers as time in the second quarter expired.

Ironton’s defense, however, set the stage for the offense. The Fighting Tigers held Wellston (7-4) to minus-2 yards of offense in the first half and no first downs. The Rockets finished the game with 35 yards of total offense. That number included an 11-yard TD pass from Isaac Molihan to Hunter Smith on a trick play for a score with 30 seconds left in the half. That play was set up by an 83-yard kickoff return by Molihan.

Ohio State commit Reid Carrico went over the 100-yard rushing mark with a 45-yard touchdown that opened up scoring in the third quarter. The run was the last of the game for the junior who finished with 110 yards rushing and the score proved to be the final score for the game.

Ironton used its backups for the remainder of the game on a running clock throughout the second half.

WELLSTON 0 6 0 0 — 6

IRONTON 14 35 7 0 — 56

I — Carrico 2 run (Book kick).

I — Salyers 8 run (Book kick).

I — Freeman 36 pass from Salyers (Book kick).

I — Grizzle 42 pass from Salyers (Book kick).

I — Salyers 8 run (Book kick).

I — Salyers 32 run (Book kick).

W — Smith 11 pass from Molihan (pass failed).

I — Salyers 44 run (Book kick).

I — Carrico 45 run (Unger kick).

W I

First downs 4 9

Rushes-yards 19-(-20) 38-306

Passes 6-17-2 5-10-0

Passing yards 55 102

Total yards 35 408

Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0

Penalties-yards 1-10 3-35

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: (W) R. Molihan 8-5, Kemp 7-(-17), Garvin 3-(-1), I. Molihan 1-(-7); (I) Carrico 12-110, Fosson 3-3, Browning 4-9, Salyers 8-110, Deere 4-49, G. Crawford 2-11, Team 5-20.

PASSING: (W) Kemp 5-14-2, 43 yards; R. Molihan 1-1-0, 11 yards, 1 TD; I. Molihan 0-2-0, 0 yards; (I) Salyers 4-7-0, 81 yards, 2 TDs; Deere 1-1-0, 21 yards.

RECEIVING: (W) Garvin 2-8, Smith 2-30, Frisby 2-17. (I) Duncan 2-34, Howell 1-7, Freeman 2-42, Grizzle 1-42, Salyers 1-21.

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