Ironwood Ridge headed to state semi-finals - The Explorer: Sports

Ironwood Ridge headed to state semi-finals

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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:00 am

The Ironwood Ridge High School football team edged Scottsdale’s Notre Dame Prep 21-14 in a home playoff game last Thursday. The important win guaranteed the Nighthawks a spot in the semi finals of the Division II playoffs.

Led by Mitch Fischer’s 302 yards rushing, the Nighthawks broke open the game with two touchdowns in the third quarter. In the opening minute of the second half, the running back went around the left side for a 75-yard touchdown run.

Later in the quarter, Fisher scored another touchdown, which culminated in an 80-yard, 12-play drive.

The game started with a scoreless first quarter, impacted by turnovers by both teams. Notre Dame’s first possession resulted in a three and out, but Ironwood Ridge fumbled the punt return, allowing Notre Dame to take over on Ironwood Ridge’s 25-yard line.

Shortly afterward, Ironwood Ridge recovered from this mistake when Jake Matthews intercepted a pass from Notre Dame quarterback Jordan Gehrke.

A two-yard dive by Fischer capped a 95-yard drive, and gave the nighthawks a 7-0 lead late in the second quarter. Notre Dame responded with a touchdown on a pass from Gehrke to Grant Martinez, which capped a 72-yard, 12-play drive.

This tied the game 7-7, with 25 seconds left in the first half.

The third quarter began with an exciting touchdown in the first minute. It was followed later in the quarter by another touchdown, this one featuring a 21-yard run by quarterback Tyler Williams. Williams led the offense on an 80-yard, 12-play drive, which ended with another touchdown run by Fischer.

However, Notre Dame did not give up, as they managed to secure a touchdown with 11 seconds remaining in the third after a 19-yard run by Nick Cole.

The Nighthawks’ defense, tough throughout the game, tightened up in the scoreless fourth quarter to secure the 21-14 win.

Scott Simmons, who had two sacks for a loss in the quarter, and a notable tackle on a goal line stand in the second quarter, helped lead the defense.

The road to winning a state championship only gets harder from here, as the Nighthawks prepare to face number two seed Cienega High School Friday night.

Cienega finished the regular season undefeated, and is ranked behind Chapparal in Division II.

The game will be played at a neutral location, with Tucson High School hosting the playoff game. Kick off is 7 p.m.

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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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