HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Nighthawks seek nothing short of 'state' - Tucson Local Media: Sports

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Nighthawks seek nothing short of 'state'

Punishing defense, heralded ground game to propel team

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Ironwood Ridge’s Jake Fischer carries a heavy stone into this season. To see it, ask the 5’11”, 220-pound linebacker about last year’s season-ending 21-14 home loss to Sunnyside.

Better yet, show up and see what college recruiters from across the West rave about, as Fischer and the brutal Nighthawks defense lead a charge that appears title-bound.

“We’re really hungry. We’re going balls to the wall every week in lifting, practices, everything,” said Fischer, nominated for the prep All-American Bowl. “Everyone believes we’re going to state.”

Senior offensive lineman Marcus Klune is packed for the ride. At 6’4” and 260 pounds, he traveled with Fischer to check out Colorado’s university campuses, while Northern Arizona University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, have also shown interest.

But that’s a year from now, and Klune’s focused on more immediate tasks.

“We were the underdogs last year, and a lot of people were dogging down on us,” Klune said. “We’re going to surprise a lot of people this year.”

Head coach Gary Minor tagged defense as the Nighthawks’ key component. Yet he’s ready to watch how senior quarterback Chris Harris impacts a team leveraged on the ground game.

“Our strength is up front. There’s no doubt about that,” Minor said.

So, then, why not post a few defensive stars onto the offense? That idea’s so 2007.

Fischer reeled in nearly nine yards per carry last year as a running back, with 466 yards and five touchdowns. The numbers have mutated into some high personal goals — 1,000 yards rushing, 150 tackles and 10 touchdowns — that should spark the Nighthawks’ season.

Were self-expectation a pathogen, it’d be spreading through the locker room, growing on the tile.

Senior linebacker/tight end Ray Cottman looks to boost his 103-tackle tally to “130 or 140” this year — even if it means fighting through a front-loaded schedule of meaty Phoenix competition.

“I like playing against bigger guys,” Cottman said. “I’ve always liked competition throughout my entire life.”

Ironwood Ridge High School

Mascot: Nighthawks

Region: 5A Southern II

Colors: Navy, silver, white

Coach profile

Gary Minor, eighth year

Record: 50-24

Previous: Coached junior varsity at CDO for two decades

2007 record (8-4, 3-0)

Aug. 31 Pinnacle L 23-3

Sept. 7 Goldwater L 7-6

Sept. 14 at Willow Canyon W 19-14

Sept. 20 at Casa Grande W 28-0

Sept. 28 Buena W 21-14

Oct. 5 at Salpointe L 7-6

Oct. 12 Tucson W 55-12

Oct. 19 at Rincon W 44-0

Oct. 26 Sunnyside W 15-14

Nov. 2 at Mountain View W 30-0

Nov. 9 Willow Canyon W 38-6

Nov. 16 Sunnyside L 21-14

2008 schedule

Sept. 5 at Pinnacle        

Sept. 19 Willow Canyon    

Sept. 26 Casa Grande Union

Oct. 3 at Buena    

Oct. 10 Salpointe

Oct. 17 at Tucson

Oct. 24 Rincon    

Oct. 31 at Sunnyside

Nov. 7 Mountain View

© 2014 Tucson Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

More about

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Oro Valley Audiology

Oro Valley AudiologyAddress: 2542 E Vistoso Commerce Loop Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755Phone:(520) ...

HS Schedule

High School Basketball

(G) = Girl's game

Monday, Dec. 1

Mountain View vs. Boulder Creek 7 p.m.

@Marana vs. Palo Verde 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 2

(G) Pusch Ridge vs. Marana 6 p.m.

@Canyon del Oro vs. Amphi 7 p.m.

@Pusch Ridge vs. Marana 8 p.m.

Ironwood Ridge vs. Nogales 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 4

(G) Pusch Ridge vs. Pueblo 6:30 p.m.

(G) Marana vs. Nogales 7 p.m.

@Canyon del Oro vs. Nogales 7 p.m.

Pusch Ridge vs. Pueblo 8 p.m.

@Marana vs. Nogales 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 5

(G) @Marana vs. Cienega 7:30 p.m.

Canyon del Oro vs. Empire 7 p.m.

Ironwood Ridge vs. Basha 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 8

@Ironwood Ridge vs. Saguaro 7 p.m.

Marana vs. Catalina 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

(G) @Canyon del Oro vs. Sabino 7 p.m.

(G) @Marana vs. Empire 7:30 p.m.

Canyon del Oro vs. Sabino 7 p.m.

@Pusch Ridge vs. Douglas 7 p.m.

Ironwood Ridge vs. Buena 7:30 p.m.

Mountain View vs. St. Mary's

Marana vs. Empire 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 12

(G) @Marana vs. Catalina 7:30 p.m.

@Canyon del Oro vs. Rincon 7 p.m.

Pusch Ridge vs. Sahuarita 8 p.m.

@Ironwood Ridge vs. Cienega 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 13

@Ironwood Ridge vs. Mountain Pointe 5 p.m.

Mountain View vs. Moreau Catholic 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Mountain View vs. Valley Vista 7 p.m.

@Marana vs. Santa Rita 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Canyon del Oro vs. Walden Grove 7 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 18

(G) Canyon Del Oro vs. Marana 7:30 p.m.

(G) @Mountain View vs. Flowing Wells 7 p.m.

@Canyon del Oro vs. Marana 7 p.m.

@Pusch Ridge vs. Miami 7 p.m.

Ironwood Ridge vs. Vista Grande 7 p.m.

Catalina Bighorn Sheep Releases

Arizona Game and Fish released 30 Bighorn Sheep in a 2-Day period into the Catalina Mountains ...

More Featured Videos

Catalina Bighorn Sheep Releases

Arizona Game and Fish released 30 Bighorn Sheep in a 2-Day period into the Catalina Mountains ...

More Featured Videos
Spacer4px

Follow us on Facebook