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Fighting Tigers must beat first-place Logan to make playoffs

It’s the last game of the season and there’s no league title at stake. But there’s still plenty of incentive for the Ironton Fighting Tigers.

Ironton needs a win Friday at Logan against the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League first-place Chieftains to secure a Division IV postseason playoff berth.

“There’s a lot on the line,” said Ironton coach Bob Lutz. “We’ve had chances to win the last two weeks but we’ve made some key mistakes. Our offense hasn’t been a problem. We’re just not stopping anyone in key situations.”

The defense faces another challenge in Logan (8-1, 6-0 SEOAL). Ironton (5-4, 4-2) must contend with an offense that averages nearly 45 points a game.

“They can put some points on the scoreboard,” Lutz said.

Tailback Justin Frye (5-11, 190) leads the offense with 1,148 yards on 172 carries and he as scored 17 touchdowns.

Fullback Mark Potter (6-0, 215) has 50 carries for 245 yards (4.9 average) and six touchdowns.

But the Chieftains have shown balance on offense.

Quarterback Michael Angle (6-1, 185) is 51 of 81 for 913 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has five interceptions.

Angle throws to a wide array of receivers led by split end Lucas Wright (5-10, 195) who has 21 catches for 453 yards and five scores.

Flanker Seth Moritz (5-11, 160) had seven catches for 92 yards and a score. Tight end Jeshiah Eggers (5-10, 220) has six grabs for 73 yards and three TDs.

“Both their backs run hard and their fullback blocks well,” said Lutz. “It’s tough to load up and stop the run because their quarterback throws the ball well and their receivers can all run and catch the ball. It puts a lot of pressure on the defense.”

The offensive line has Bobby Russell (6-1, 220) at center, Derek Shirley (5-10, 210) and David Schneider (6-1, 275) at the guards, and Alex Wallace (6-8, 320) and Weston Andy (6-2, 260) the tackles.

While Logan’s offense can put up points, the defense is hard to crack. The Chieftains have allowed just 12 points a game.

The defense uses a five-man front with a solid linebacking corps.

Mark Potter (6-0, 215) and Corey Kissling (5-8, 170) are the linebackers and both played last year when Logan beat Ironton 7-0 in the rain and mud.

Michael Frasure (5-9, 165) is the nose guard, Stephen Miller (6-0, 210) and Grant Waugh (5-11, 260) are the tackles with Jon Neff (6-,2 205) and Patrick Angle the ends.

Clay Morgan (5-10, 180) and Zach Adams (6-02, 200) are the corners with Moritz and Wright the safeties.

“They’re fundamentally sound and they run to the ball well,” said Lutz. “They’re pretty good up front and their linebackers make plays.”