Nighthawks look to get to 2012 State Championship, will accept no less - The Explorer: Sports

Nighthawks look to get to 2012 State Championship, will accept no less

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Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 5:00 pm | Updated: 9:48 am, Wed Oct 24, 2012.

The Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks aren’t willing to settle for anything less than an appearance at the Division II state tournament this football season.

Last season, the Nighthawks were only one game shy of doing just that, falling to Cienega High School 24-21 in a tough-fought battle led by then senior Mitch Fischer.

The Nighthawks finished the 2011 season 10-3.

Despite the loss of the star running back in Fischer, now playing at Pima Community College, Ironwood hasn’t lost any of its fighting spirit. The team has united more than than ever to compensate for Fischer’s departure.

“We’ve challenged our individual players to each pick up something extra to make up for it,” said fourth-year Head Coach Matt Johnson. “No one player can make up for the loss of Mitch. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever coached.”

The running attack for the Nighthawks appeared strong opening night on Aug. 24 when Anthony Braunreither took over the reigns. Braunreither had a good first game, racking up a combined 111 yards in running and receiving.

No doubt the arrival of senior Cris Thorson will help fill any void. Thorson, who spent three years as Mountain View’s standout player in a variety of offensive and defensive positions, will graduate a Nighthawk after transferring schools this fall.

As slot receiver and cornerback, Thorson will work closely with Nighthawks’ veteran Tyler Williams, whose speed and agility will be put to use on all sides of the ball at quarterback and safety.

“These guys are great leaders in a group of seniors who all understand that sweat, mixed with a great attitude, equals success,” said Johnson.

Johnson said amidst the various changes leading into the regular season, there is another that has forced the team to adjust its game plan.

“We’re smaller than normal, so we have to execute more accurately,” he said. “We are putting far more emphasis on technique this year. Our biggest philosophy is to work harder than anybody, and balance all that hard work out with having fun out there on the field.”

The Nighthawks faced rival Canyon Del Oro High School on Aug. 24, winning 36-0.

This week, the Nighthawks will look to go 2-0, traveling to take on the Marana Tigers on Aug. 31.


2012 Nighthawks Schedule

Date    Opponent    

8/24     vs Canyon Del Oro

8/31     @ Marana

9/7       @ Tucson

9/14     @ Cholla

9/21     @ Marcos de Niza

9/28     vs Centennial

10/5     @ Mountain View

10/12    vs Flowing Wells

10/19    vs Catalina Foothills

10/26    @ Salpointe Catholic     

All games begin at 7 p.m.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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