Wolford scores three touchdowns as Ironmen prevail over Pirates

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JACKSON, Ohio (WOUB) – Gridiron Glory’s Game of the Week lived up to its name, as the Jackson Ironmen squeaked out a win against the visiting Wheelersburg Pirates, 28-20. 

The Ironmen were able to move the ball downfield early in the game but were forced to punt the ball away after a strong showing from the Pirates’ defense. The Ironmen’s defense was very quick to respond, however, with Jackson’s A.J. Graham recovering a fumble just two plays later. 

Graham’s fumble recovery proved to be a crucial turning point for Jackson. The Ironmen ran the ball down the field, with star running back Cade Wolford capping off the drive with a five-yard rushing touchdown on a toss play to put Jackson ahead 7-0 early in the second quarter. 

The Ironmen’s defense was able to force yet another punt on the ensuing drive. Then the offense completed an 81-yard drive in just two plays, with quarterback Bodhi Wolford airing it out to Nolan Johnson for a 20-yard gain. Next  he launched the ball downfield on the next play to his older brother, Cade, who made the reception over a Pirates’ defender, and took it to the house for a 61-yard touchdown. The score then stood 14-0 in Jackson’s favor. 

Wheelersburg answered back with an aerial attack of their own. Quarterback Braylon Rucker opened the possession by dishing it out to Devon Lattimore, who took the ball 47 yards down the field. The duo connected two plays later via a 20-yard pass, bringing the Pirates to the Ironmen’s five-yard line.  After gaining two yards on the first attempt within the red zone, Landon Hutchinson was able to punch it in from three yards out. With 2:07 remaining in the first half, the Ironmen led 14-7. 

A high snap on the first play of the Ironmen’s following drive killed the potential of the possession, backing them up all the way to their own 1-yard line. After narrowly escaping a safety, Jackson punted the ball away. However, a bad bounce gave Wheelersburg the ball on the Ironmen’s 30-yard line. 

The Pirates took advantage of the great field position, as the drive was finished off by a leaping Kenyon Evans 18-yard touchdown, which tied the game up at 14 entering halftime. 

Hutchinson was able to find endzone again early in the second half, but the ensuing extra point was blocked. Wheelersburg held their first lead of the game early in the third quarter by a score of 20-14. 

Just a mere 19 seconds later, Jackson’s C. Wolford broke loose for a 72-yard rushing touchdown, putting the Ironmen back into the lead, 21-20. 

Early in the fourth quarter, Jackson’s Ryan Seimetz intercepted a pass, giving the Ironmen the ball on the Pirates’ 40-yard line. The Ironmen capitalized off the turnover yet again, and Nolan Johnson plowed into the end zone from a yard out, extending the lead to 28-20. 

Wheelersburg drove the ball down the field to tie the game and send it to overtime, but their efforts fell short, with Jackson’s Gaven Jones snagging an interception, giving the Ironmen the ball with 1:28 remaining, putting a stamp on the game. 

Wheelersburg fell to 1-2 and will look to bounce back next week as they play host to the Northwest Mohawks. 

The Ironmen improved to 2-1 and will travel to Western Brown next Friday night.