Nighthawks soar over Dorados - The Explorer: Sports

Nighthawks soar over Dorados

Preparation was the key to Nighthawks’ 28-7 win Friday

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Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:00 am

For the first time since 2006, the Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks defeated the Canyon Del Oro Dorados in the inner-district showdown to open the 2011 high school football season Friday night.

In a strategic ground attack, the Nighthawks ran through gaping holes in the Dorados’ defense all night. Led by junior quarterback Tyler Williams and senior tailback Mitch Fischer, the Nighthawks ran for 383 yards.

Coming prepared for action was the key to the Nighthawks’ success. Williams said they started preparing for this game last spring by watching game film from the state championship where the Dorados lost to Saguaro 41-34.

“Hard work paid off. This offense had the mentality that we were going to run it all night,” said Williams. “I have to hand it to the offensive line. They played a great game. There was a hole that opened up on every play.”

Williams rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns, while Fischer led the attack with 180 yards and two touchdowns. Anthony Braunreiter added another 61 yards.

Nighthawks head coach Matt Johnson credited the team’s offensive coordinator Doug Braunreiter for the victory.

“He put endless hours into this game plan, and the kids executed it,” he said. “Our kids are slowly getting the confidence they need to play at this high level.”

In the first half, it appeared obvious that both teams were playing in a season opener. They were rusty on offense, and working to gain momentum on defense.

While the Nighthawks recovered in the second half, CDO never found a rhythm.

The Nighthawks drew first blood in the first quarter when Fischer jetted outside the tackles for a 25-yard touchdown.

CDO answered right back when new quarterback Cooper Smith threw a 40-yard strike to Josh Brown with 1:05 left in the opening quarter.

Brown kept the Dorados alive in the first half, tying the game at 7, and having two big runbacks on special teams.

In the second half, it was all Nighthawks, as the offense went on to score 21 unanswered points.

With 7:29 in the third, Fischer barreled his way through the middle of the Dorados’ defense for the 14-yard touchdown. With a missed extra point, the Nighthawks took a 13-7 lead.

With 1:56 left in the third, Williams capped off a nine-play drive, scoring on a 13-yard keeper.

Williams pounded in the two-point conversion to go up 21-7.

Williams got his second touchdown in the fourth, running 13 yards on the right-side sweep for another score, capping off the night’s scoring to give the Nighthawks a 28-7 victory.

After the game, Johnson had only a few words for the players, which included the barking orders to get over to the sidelines and show appreciation to the stands of enthusiastic football fans who showed up for the Oro Valley showdown.

In the end, Johnson called the showdown a “pride game.”

“Their goal is to win a state championship, and our goal is to win a state championship,” he said. “All this was is a game in August. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them again, and we better be ready to play.”

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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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