Zayne Williams
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Brock Netter

Brock is SOSA's primary writer and has worked for the Coshocton Tribune, the Kankakee Daily Journal (Ill.), the Vinton-Jackson Courier and the Jackson Telegram. He's a six-time award-winning journalist, a lifelong WWE fan, a suffering Bengals fan and calls the sidelines his home.

Ironton passes second test, pulls away from Jackson late

Ironton moves to 2-0 with an impressive win over Jackson.

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

IRONTON — Two early season tests. Two tests passed. 

Coming into this season, some said Ironton might not be as stacked as it was last year. But that may be a misstatement. The talent is still plentiful along the river and the Tigers had no issues whatsoever putting it on display Saturday night.

While racking up over 500 yards of total offense, and led by Shaun Terry’s three touchdowns, Ironton (2-0) notched a sizable 35-14 victory over Jackson in the Ironton Gridiron Classic.

Ironton’s Bailey Thacker threw for two touchdowns in Saturday’s win over Jackson.
CREDIT: Brock Netter/SOSA

“This was a long day all around for the coaches hosting this event and the players having to wait literally all day with no school or anything. But they did a great job of handling all of the change,” Ironton coach Trevon Pendleton said. “Jackson is a great team and a very quality opponent, so I’m very pleased with how we answered the call and how we played.”

Just for context on Terry’s night, he only touched the ball four times when the offense was on the field. That’s how dangerous he is with the ball in his hands. 

In total, he finished with 177 total yards of offense – 97 rushing and 80 receiving. 

“He’s such a gamechanger, and he can change the scoreboard in the blink of an eye,” Pendleton said. “He brings a dynamic element to the team on both sides of the ball that makes us pretty scary.” 

Tale of the Tape

Both teams stalled on their opening drive before Ironton took to the air, and that’s when Terry’s number was called.

With 1-on-1 coverage, Terry raced by his defender and Bailey Thacker found him deep for a 76-yard touchdown pass to put the Tigers ahead 7-0 after the first quarter. 

Jackson (1-1) responded on its next drive.

PHOTOS: Images from Ironton’s win over Jackson

After converting a huge pair of third down conversions along the way with pass calls, Nolan Johnson found pay dirt from a yard out to tie the game at 7-7. 

Ironton, however, punched right back.

Following a long kickoff return from Aris Pittman, Thacker tossed his second touchdown of the game — this one a 23-yarder to Tatum Moore — for a 14-7 lead, one that remained going into halftime. 

Fresh out of the break, the Tigers opened with possession but fumbled at midfield, allowing Jackson to recover. However, just a few plays later, Jackson returned the favor, loosing a fumble of its own on the 1-yard line.

After punts on each team’s next drives, Ironton cashed in on the first play of its next when Zayne Williams barreled his way up the middle and dashed 39 yards for a touchdown, putting his team ahead 21-7.

Although the Ironmen scored on the following possession with a one-yard plunge from Cade Wolford, it was all Terry and the Tigers the rest of the way. 

Following a successful fake punt call for a first down via Braden Schreck, Terry took a jet sweep on the next play, reversed field, broke a tackle, and found an opening before galloping 49 yards for a touchdown and a 28-14 lead. 

“It’s so nice to have a weapon like Shaun. He definitely makes me feel more comfortable knowing I can get him the ball at anytime,” Thacker said. “He’s unbelievable and he played a great game.”

Terry ended the night on the next drive as he took a toss and cut back before slicing and dicing his way into open field, finding pay dirt from 48 yards out to put the finishing touches on a Tiger victory. 

Stat book

Following Terry’s numbers was Thacker, who finished 7-of-15 passing for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Williams added 104 yards on 13 carries and a score, and Moore caught a 23-yard touchdown. 

For Jackson, Wolford finished with 23 carries for 143 yards and a touchdown while Johnson also had a touchdown. 

What’s on tap

Ironton returns to action on Friday as it opens OVC, hosting Fairland. Jackson hosts Wheelersburg that same evening. 

“We have to finish drives. That’s the top thing we have to do moving forward,” Pendleton said. “But we also have to do a better job of tackling and getting guys on the ground. There were times we did it really well tonight, and other times it was tough. So we’ll work on that a lot this week in practice.”


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