Ironwood Ridge vs Centennial Football

Ironwood Ridge High School senior Tyler Williams breaks out of the pocket and looks for an open receiver during the first quarter of Friday night's game against Centennial. The Nighthawks finished on top 28-24.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

The Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks celebrated their homecoming night right with a 28-24 upset over number three ranked Centennial High School on Friday.

Quarterback Tyler Williams led the offense for Ironwood with three touchdown carries and one touchdown pass, but the win was truly a team effort – one that could propel the Nighthawks to a number one ranking in the state.

Centennial struck first on a 20-yard field goal to build a 3-0 lead, but Ironwood would answer in a big way, scoring the next three touchdowns – all carries by Williams – to build a 21-3 lead.

As the half wound down, Centennial quarterback Tre’von Grant connected with wide receiver Xavier Villanueva for a 25-yard touchdown completion to bring the game to 21-10 heading into halftime.

Centennial pounced first in the second half when Grant found Jalen Ortiz for a 25-yard touchdown to close the Ironwood lead to four points, at 21-17.

But the Nighthawk defense, led by Jake Matthews, continually forced fumbles and batted down pass attempts to minimize Centennial’s offensive possessions, in turn giving the Nighthawks additional scoring opportunities.

Tyler Williams took advantage of that with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Julian Figueroa, but Centennial sprung right back when Ortiz ran 88 yards to bring the score to 28-24 with about eight minutes remaining in the game.

Ironwood was forced to punt its next offensive possession, but the Nighthawk defense wasn’t about to budge. With two minutes remaining, Matthews sacked Grant, forcing a fumble that Ironwood recovered.

But, Ironwood again struggled to find a first down, and was forced to punt with one minute remaining.

Centennial put together a drive with 28 seconds remaining to find themselves at the Ironwood 49-yard line. With time to throw on third down, Grant released, but the pass was intercepted by John Klass, who was brought down with seven seconds remaining.

Williams would take a knee on offense to run the clock out and send the Nighthawks into celebration.

The Nighthawks improve to 6-0 and face Mountain View next Friday.

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