Ironwood Ridge takes on Salpointe - The Explorer: Sports

Ironwood Ridge takes on Salpointe

Nighthawks eager to end the season with major win

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Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 3:00 am

With a 45-0 blowout over Catalina Foothills Friday, the Ironwood Nighthawks improved to 8-1 with one more regular-season game left.

However, the final game heading into the high school football playoffs will not be easy. The Nighthawks will be hosting Salpointe this Friday night.

In state power rankings, Salpointe is ranked third in Division II with 393.9 points, while Ironwood Ridge sits in fifth place with 389.1 points.

Chaparral is ranked first, and Cienega is second.

Both teams come into the final game with one loss. Salpointe lost to top-ranked Chaparral 22-21 in the season opener, while the Nighthawks lost to Centennial 21-7 in September.

Ironwood Ridge Coach Matt Johnson said he expects a good game between two of the state’s top teams.“(The Lancers) are a big team,” he said. “They are well coached, and they have an offense fueled by a good quarterback, and a wide receiver who is a big playmaker.”

Sophomore quarterback Andrew Cota has led the Lancers to an 8-1 record, while passing 1,708 yards and 21 touchdowns for the season.

Sophomore wide receiver Cameron Denson averages 12.7 points per game, and is nearing a 1,000-yard season with 957 receiving yards to date.

“With the kind of talent from both teams, it’s going to be a war for four quarters,” said Johnson.

The Nighthawks will continue relying on the strong running from tailback Mitch Fischer and quarterback Tyler Williams.

Fischer has racked up 1,214 yards on 129 carries this season, and Williams has rushed for 763 yards and passed for 738 yards to earn a quarterback rating of 105.

With such a tough game to end the regular season, Johnson said it could have both negative and positive effects on the Nighthawks’ ultimate goal to win a state championship.

With a victory, Johnson said the Nighthawks could be riding high into the first round of the post season.

However, the lingering effects of a loss could impact the team mentally in the first round of the playoffs. where they may not realize that there is no second chance, the only way to move forward in the playoffs is to win.

Kick-off for this Friday’s game is 7 p.m.

Kick-off is Friday, 7 p.m. at Ironwood Ridge High School

Can’t make the game? Watch for live game updates by joining The Explorer Newspaper on Twitter.

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

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

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

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

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

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

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

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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