Recap: Jackson Stays Undefeated With 33-21 Victory Over Ironton [VIDEO]< < Back to
It was senior night for the Jackson Ironmen inside Alumni Stadium, and it gave the undefeated Ironmen their biggest test yet against an experienced Ironton Fighting Tigers squad. Jackson responded to the challenge the same way it has all season by doing what it does best—winning.
Jackson’s 33-21 victory marks its third straight win over the Fighting Tigers, a feat it has not accomplished against Ironton since 1910-1911 when the Ironmen won once in 1910 and twice in 1911.
Prior to Friday night’s contest, the Tigers (6-3) were riding a six-game win streak with their first loss coming to Wheelersburg in week one, a team that Jackson shutout 27-0 four weeks ago.
The Ironmen (9-0, 3-0 SEOAL) quickly scored on their first possession after Ironton punted the ball for one yard giving Jackson the ball on the Tigers 40-yard line.
A couple of big runs by quarterback Hunter Sexton and running back Raymond Potter set up Derek Rafferty’s one-yard touchdown run putting Jackson up 7-0 with 6:20 remaining ion the first quarter.
Despite driving down the field with an efficient ground attack, Ironton quarterback Tristan Cox made the mistake of throwing the ball in the vicinity of Rafferty who picked off Cox’s fade pass down the middle of the field deep in Jackson territory.
Once again it looked like Jackson would have no problem putting away a tough non-conference opponent.
The next Ironmen drive, however, stalled forcing them to punt the ball away to D’Angelo Palladino who returned it 49-yards to house locking the score at 7-7 stunning the Jackson crowd in the process.
From there the first half remained a back-and-forth battle with each team trading explosive touchdowns including an 80-yard score by Palladino who finished the first half with 187 all-purpose yards.
Palladino’s effort was not enough to knock off the Ironmen and the running back didn’t get much help from the Tigers’ passing attack which did not complete a single pass in the first half.
Jackson was able to retain a 20-14 lead heading into halftime by sacking Cox with under a minute to play.
The Ironmen showed their determination to remain perfect by scoring on the second play of the second half on a 55-yard touchdown run by Rafferty who stiff armed a would be tackler to the ground pushing him five yards back.
Rafferty’s play elevated the atmosphere in Jackson to an unprecedented level and the Ironmen defense rode the momentum by only allowing Ironton to score one touchdown in the second half.
With just one game left at Gallia Academy (4-5, 2-1), Jackson hopes to finish the regular season undefeated for the first time since 2011, leaving the Halloween night game to be a treat for these SEOAL rivals.