[ Zack Mothersbaugh | WOUB ]

Ironton plays another instant classic, defeating Jackson down to the wire

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JACKSON, Ohio (WOUB) — Following last year’s thrilling walk-off victory, which was featured on SportsCenter, the Fighting Tigers and Ironmen gave us yet another instant classic, with this year’s matchup going down to the wire once again.

Jackson started the excitement early with an opening onside kick, which they recovered. Despite a couple of penalties on the drive, Jackson found the endzone on a Jacob Winters 40-yard pass to senior Brodie Butcher. 7-0, Ironmen. 

Ironton followed up with a scoring drive of their own, as they answered by getting the ball downfield on a few big hitting passes. This set up a 4-yard rushing touchdown by Jaquez Keyes. Tied, 7-7.

Jackson took the lead back on a long drive, which was sparked by a 27-yard catch by Brayden Stapelton in Ironton territory. After a couple of solid runs, Jackson capped off the drive with a 13-yard pass to Brodie Butcher, notching his 2nd touchdown of the game. 14-7, Jackson.

Ironton gave us yet another scoring drive, as senior Ty Perkins took a simple pass all the way to the house from 53 yards out. Score tied once again, 14-14. 

Both teams finally came up with non-scoring drives, as Jackson went three and out and had a short punt, putting Ironton at the Jackson 47-yard line. Ironton marched down the field with a couple of Jaquez Keyes first downs but were ultimately stopped on 4th & 8 in the red zone.

Jackson brought back the scoring on an eventful drive, which started with an 18-yard run by Brayden Powell. Ironton was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty following the play, which sent Jackson all the way up to the Ironton 43-yard line. Jackson then scored on a 42-yard catch by Eli Broermann to give Jackson the lead back. Although, the extra point attempt was no good. 20-14, Jackson.

Ironton did not follow this up well, as they gave away a fumble to Jackson on a snap. Jackson set up on their own 46 and gave the ball back to Ironton on a fumble of their own, this one occurring at the Ironton 6-yard line. 

This would be the start of yet another scoring drive for Jackson, as a penalty riddled drive was capped off with a 13-yard passing touchdown to Jacob Wood. However, the 2-point conversion attempt was no good. 26-14, Jackson.

Coming out of the 2nd half, chaos ensued. Jackson received the 2nd half kickoff but fumbled during the return. Ironton took over on the Jackson 34-yard line and wasted no time in scoring, as Tayden Carpenter connected with Ty Perkins on a 34-yard touchdown pass. 26-21, Jackson still leading.

Ironton took the ball all the way down to the 1-yard line later in the 3rd quarter but fumbled with Jackson recovering. This was a brutal blow for Ironton, as they were a mere yard away from taking their first lead of the game.

Jackson started the 4th quarter with the ball and fumbled the ball at Ironton’s 1 yard line. That was 2 fumbles at the opposing team’s 1 yard line between late 3rd quarter and early 4th quarter.

Anyways, Ironton took it down deep into Jackson territory once again, this time getting it to the Jackson 2-yard line. Facing 4th & Goal with the game on the line, Landen Wilson punched it in the end zone for Ironton, as they took their first lead of the game with a minute remaining. Ironton converted the 2-point conversion to go up 3. 29-26, Ironton.

Jackson, seeking a game winning drive, marched to mid field with 47 seconds left. Jacob Winters aired one out deep for Brayden Stapelton, who drew a pass interference call from the defense. Now at the Ironton 25-yard line, Winters got a pass off to Nolan Johnson throwing out of a sack, which Johnson took to the Ironton 17. On 3rd down with the game on the line, Winters threw an interception to Braden Schreck to seal the game. 

The 2-0 Ironton Fighting Tigers will try to add on their 3rd win in as many weeks next week when they head to Fairland to take on the Dragons. 

As for the Jackson Ironmen, they’ll try to bounce back from this heartbreaking loss next week on the road against Tri Valley.