Jackson Treading Unfamiliar Waters with Zanesville Game Looming

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The Jackson Ironmen (11-1) are posed to be momentous in more than one way this Friday night when they face the Zanesville Blue Devils (11-1) in the Divison III, Region 9 final.

It is the second time in Jackson history they will play for a regional championship; the last time Jackson did not win the contest. Another piece of history is brewing under this game. The Blue Devils and the Ironmen have faced off many times in the past. Historically Zanesville has been dominate over Jackson, but they have not played in six years. Ironmen head coach Andy Hall, believes the slate is wiped clean.

The Ironmen’s goal since summer two-a-days was to claim a regional championship, and their consistent day-by-day mentality has paid off for them so far this season. Jackson does not plan to switch things up offensively for the matchup.

“Play sound, consistent offense, and keep doing what we’re doing,” Hall said.

When it comes to the other side of the ball the Ironmen plan to rev up their defense in order to control Zanesville’s spread offense led by quarterback Derek Grandstaff. Jackson plans to double up on defense, especially when it comes to Leo Crosby, Zanesville’s 6-foot-one-inch, 220 pound running back. Crosby has racked up 1,200 rushing yards this year and he’s also very effective as a middle linebacker.

All year long offenses have struggled against Zanesville’s fast-paced defense. The Blue Devils have only allowed 80 points this season and just 10 points in the playoffs.

As the Jackson Ironmen have done all year, they are going into this game with extreme determination and a bus full of confidence, according to Hall.

“It’s engraved in their bones and they work hard for [their goals], Hall said.

Kickoff for this regional final playoff game is set for Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Athens High School.