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 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)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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