Ironwood Ridge vs Liberty High Football

Ironwood Ridge senior Michael Volk breaks past a Liberty defender during Friday night’s game. The Nighthawks won 42-40.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

Coming off a state title, it was going to be tough for Ironwood Ridge to duplicate their success in 2013. The Nighthawks returned to the playoffs, but did not make a deep run like they did before.

The season started off great. First the Nighthawks edge a good Liberty squad, then went on the road to defeat Cienega in what would be the first of three straight road games.

They suffered their first loss 35-28 on the road at Apollo High School in Glendale, then blew out district rival CDO 42-14. Back to back wins over Buena and Rincon/University had the Nighhawks sitting at 5-1.

From there the schedule got tougher and IRHS lost three games in row. First they lost a 51-30 shootout on the road at Tucson High, then fell to Mountain View 14-7 at home, their first loss ever to the Mountain Lions. Eventual state champion Salpointe handed them the third loss 48-9.

The Nighthawks got back to their winning ways, beating Vista Grande in a game that qualified them for the state playoffs.

Their stay in the postseason was a brief one as host Marcos de Niza beat them 28-16 in Tempe in their first round playoff match-up.

Junior quarterback Dylan Key passed for 1,300 yards and 15 scores, while Jake Vartanian rushed for 1,200 yards and 17 scores.  

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.