High School Football

Ironwood Ridge High School’s Chase Laurita drives into a pad on a sled.

Randy Metcalf/Tucson Local Media

Ironwood Ridge opens up the 2014 season with a road game against Peoria Liberty High School. The Lions are one of the better teams in the state and will pose a big challenge for the Nighthawks.

Liberty Lions

Record: 0-0

Last Game: Lost to Salpointe 45-14 in the second round of the 2013 state playoffs.

Last Year: 8-4, lost in the second round of the state playoffs to eventual state champion Salpointe.

Last Meeting: Ironwood Ridge edged the Lions 42-40 in Tucson.

Seniors Lost: 15

Liberty at a Glance: The Lions are a potent offensive team who can score with the best in the state. Don’t think for a minute that they are one-dimensional, they have a very solid defense as well, one that also stacks up among the 5-10 best statewide.

Senior Kory Wilson is one of the state’s best defensive backs, while senior quarterback Tyler Wyatt is among the top passers in the senior class. Wyatt is the team’s leading returning passer and rusher, he amassed nearly 3,400 yards of offense and 42 touchdowns.

The Game at a Glance: Both teams want to improve upon their seasons from a year ago and getting a win in week one against a probable state playoff team would be huge. You could argue the Nighthawks’ win over Liberty was vital in them making the playoffs. Getting momentum in week one would be big for both teams. Both teams have a tough slate to open the season, so getting the win will be important. The challenge for Ironwood Ridge will be slowing down dual threat quarterback Tyler Wyatt.

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