Pusch Ridge, Phoenix Christian looking for wins - The Explorer: Sports

Pusch Ridge, Phoenix Christian looking for wins

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Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:25 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

The Pusch Ridge Christian Academy Lions and the Phoenix Christian High School Cougars share more than just a predatory mascot and a 7 p.m. kickoff this Friday.

Last season, Pusch Ridge went 7-3, sweeping through the 2A South and notching a region championship before losing to Camp Verde 23-13 in the first round of the state playoffs.

Phoenix Christian went slightly farther, riding a 13-1 record to Northern Arizona University and the state championship game, only to come up short against St. John's 42-17.

This seems like a recipe for an action-packed matchup with statewide implications. However, coming into Friday night's game, both teams are looking for their first wins.

The Lions ended their trip to Phoenix Northwest Christian last Friday with a 47-16 loss, and the Cougars opened at home with a 42-0 shutout by Phoenix North Pointe Prep.

In spite of the opening game struggles, both teams can point to some bright spots.

For the Cougars, who had difficulty moving the ball on the ground and in the passing game, junior running back and team captain Jay Leary was the most effective weapon, carrying the ball 12 times for 45 yards, and adding a 13-yard reception and six tackles on defense.

Despite the score, Phoenix Christian also saw some good tackling from sophomore defensive back Preston Von Hofwagen and senior defensive lineman Zach Rosson, who, along with Leary, led the team with six tackles each.

The Lions had fewer problems moving the ball through the air, as senior quarterback and three-year starter Greg Schimke threw for 288 yards on 18 completions, an average of 16 yards per toss. Schimke was able to count on the quickness and speed of senior wide receiver Trevor Cook and junior running back Tyler Vance, each of whom hauled in a long touchdown pass late in the game — Cook from 33 yards out, and Vance with a 65-yarder.

On defense, senior linemen Ryan Alexander and Christian Weyne showed flashes of effectiveness, and the Lions' secondary intercepted Cougar quarterback Nathan La Barbera twice, holding him to 129 yards passing.

Positive statistics aside, Pusch Ridge coach Bob Vance knows his team must capitalize on its strengths to be more successful throughout the season.

"We've got a lot of athleticism, it's a matter of whether we can get those athletes the ball," said Vance.

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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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