Ironwood Ridge easily wins again, Salpointe next - The Explorer: Sports

Ironwood Ridge easily wins again, Salpointe next

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Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 4:00 am | Updated: 2:16 pm, Wed Nov 28, 2012.

Ironwood Ridge could be excused for looking past Catalina Foothills, and thinking about their season finale at Salpointe Catholic.

After all, Catalina Foothills are winless in 2012. The Lancers (9-1) are rated #2 in Southern Arizona, while the Nighthawks (9-0) are rated #1.

The Nighthawks opening drive took them down the field, but an interception stopped the drive and made you wonder about their focus.

But these concerns were short-lived, as the Nighthawks proceeded to score on their next five possessions en route to a 56-0 win.

Quarterback Tyler Williams opened the scoring with a 57-yard run on the Nighthawks’ second series.

Williams was hit in the middle of the field, then he spun around, stayed on his feet, and darted down the left sideline all the way into the end zone. After a pass from Tyler Berson to Kai Ellingboe, it was 8-0 Nighthawks.

Williams didn’t think the Nighthawks took the Falcons lightly.

“Our coaches do a good job keeping us focused,” Williams said. “Our line does a great job. They do all the dirty work.”

Williams completed 10 of his 11 passes for 67 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Always a running threat, Williams ran for 67 yards and two touchdowns.

Anthony Braunreiter gained 79 yards rushing on only seven carries, and scored three touchdowns, before being removed once the rout was on.

Jake Vartanian took over and gained another 61 yards on five carries, and scored on a 50-yard touchdown run.

A 28-yard touchdown run by Braunreiter made it 15-0 on the final play of the first quarter. An interception by defensive back Brandon Martinez led to another touchdown run by Williams.

Interceptions were a common weapon at the disposal of the Nighthawks last Friday. Cole Kuglitsch returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Michael Volk and Sam Ross also had picks, as the Nighthawks excelled on both sides of the ball.

“We worked hard,” said Nighthawks coach Matt Johnson. “We try to respect every opponent.”

“Their injury situation wore them down.”

The Nighthawks defense held the Falcons to 38 total yards of offense.

A five-yard touchdown run by Braunreiter made it 36-0 in the second. After stopping Foothills on a three-and-out, the Nighthawks got the ball back and it took them only three plays to score. Williams completed a 13-yard pass to John Klass. Then, Julian Figueroa ran 31 yards down to the 17 of Foothills. Then, Williams hooked up with Braunreiter for a 17-yard touchdown pass.

“We wanted to minimize the mistakes,” Williams said.

“We worked hard on our preventive package,” Johnson said. “We hadn’t used it as much.”

So was anything gained by this tune-up for Salpointe?

“It’s all about the playoffs,” Johnson said. “Not the regular season.”

The Nighthawks have come close, but just come up short of the state title game in each of the last two years. The Salpointe game will be the perfect appetizer to prepare the Nighthawks for the main course the week after, as the Nighthawks will certainly be hosting a first-round playoff game.

What kind of threat does Salpointe pose?

“They have so many great players over there,” Johnson said. “Cota (Andrew), Denson (Cameron) and some freshman phenoms. We have to play our best game to compete with them.

They’re well stocked at every position.”

Game time will start on Friday at 7 p.m. at Salpointe.

“When we play as many great teams as we have (on the schedule),” said Williams. “It makes us ready.”

“Salpointe is a great team,” Williams said. “We have to minimize our mistakes. Whoever makes the fewest mistakes will win.”

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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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