Ironwood Ridge wins season opener 42-40 - The Explorer: Sports

Ironwood Ridge wins season opener 42-40

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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 11:37 pm | Updated: 9:14 am, Sat Aug 24, 2013.

The Ironwood Ridge Nighthawk - no doubt frustrated from repeated lightning delays and a 17-7 halftime deficit - scored 28 points in the third quarter en route to defeating the Liberty Lions on Friday night.

Liberty jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after quarterback Tyler Wyatt broke free for a 72-yard touchdown carry in the first play of the game.

In their next offensive drive, the Lions utilized their running game effectively, driving to the Nighthawks’ 14-yard line, where Wyatt connected with wide receiver Gage Lytle to put the Lions up 14-0.

The reigning D-II state champion Nighthawks, who lost all but one starter to graduation last year, struggled to find any offensive rhythm until late in the first quarter.

In a 77-yard drive, Ironwood Ridge answered with a running game of its own via tailback Cole McLafferty. From the Lions’ one-yard line, McLafferty finished that push and put the Nighthawks on the board.

Liberty closed out the half with a 37-yard field goal to build a 17-7 lead.

The Nighthawks had a while to discuss things after a 45-minute lightning delay prolonged the beginning of the third quarter.

But when the third quarter did come, the Nighthawks were ready.

It was again McLafferty who would start things off, returning Liberty's kickoff to the Lions' 44-yard line, and Vartanian would finish things off with a one-yard score to make it 17-14.

The Lions answered right back when Wyatt went 74 yards for the score.

But it was the night of Vartanian and McLafferty. McLafferty scored on a five-yard run, and after Liberty failed to convert on offense, Vartanian struck again for the Nighthawks on an 18-yard rushing touchdown to give the Nighthawks a 28-24 advantage.

Liberty regained the lead soon thereafter on a 65-yard score, but Vartanian and McLafferty would each add another touchdown to give the Nighthawks a 42-31 lead.

Wyatt looked to even things up, however, after he knocked in a field goal, and soon after connected with receiver Gage Lytle for a 44-yard score

The Nighthawks ahead 42-40, Liberty's two-point conversion attempt failed and Ironwood Ridge collected its first win of the season.

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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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