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 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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