Ironton claims fourth straight OVC title in rivalry match against Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WOUB) — The two teams who sat atop the OVC battled it out in an old-fashioned rivalry match Friday night, with the Ironton Fighting Tigers steamrolling the Portsmouth Trojans 42-7.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers came into this game undefeated at 9-0, looking to remain unbeaten heading into the postseason, in hopes of locking up the No. 1 seed in Division V, Region 19. With the win against Gallia Academy last week, Ironton already claimed at least a share of the OVC title, but a victory against their dreaded rival, Portsmouth, would give them the outright crown.

On the other hand, the Portsmouth Trojans came into the showdown at 6-3, after rebounding from some troubling performances to start the season. Portsmouth needed to beat the Fighting Tigers for the first time since 2018 to claim a share of the conference title, and no love was lost between these conference foes.

The game started off in Ironton’s favor, as the Fighting Tigers pounced on their first drive. A five-yard touchdown pass from QB Tayden Carpenter to WR Landen Wilson capped off the drive to put the Fighting Tigers up seven early.

Portsmouth seemed like they would be answering the call, but an interception from QB Tyler Duncan deep in Ironton territory thwarted the Trojans’ attempt.

The Fighting Tigers used that moment from the interception to dominate the second quarter. A pair of touchdown passes from Carpenter to WR Ty Perkins displayed the athleticism that Ironton possesses.

The 21-0 lead seemed like it would hold until half, but another interception from Duncan set the Fighting Tigers up with solid field position. Ironton capitalized with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Carpenter to WR Braden Schreck to go up 28-0 into the break.

The second half started slow, but Ironton finally broke the scoreless streak after a five-yard touchdown pass from Carpenter to Wilson again.

Portsmouth finally got on the board in the fourth quarter with a 010-yard rushing touchdown from RB Brenden Truett.

Ironton tacked on a late touchdown, which came from the left arm of Carpenter to WR Aiden Young, making the score 42-7, which held to the end, giving the Fighting Tigers the outright OVC title for the fourth straight season.

Carpenter led the way for Ironton, throwing for 189 yards and six touchdowns on the night. With the win, the Fighting Tigers also lock up the No. 1 seed in Division V, Region 19. Ironton will start their playoff run at home against the 6-4 Minford Falcons next week.

The Portsmouth Trojans will take the No. 9 seed in Division V, Region 19, hitting the road to face the 5-4 Union Local Jets next week.