The blue and white paint covering the faces of the Ironwood Ridge football fans didn’t go to waste.
Anthony Braunreiter’s three consecutive touchdowns led the Nighthawks to a 36-0 season opener over rival Canyon Del Oro High School on Friday night.
The 5’8”, 205-pound senior running back answered any lingering questions as to whether the team’s running game would still be effective without star running back Mitch Fischer, who graduated last year.
Braunreiter ran it in twice in the first quarter to bring the score to 13-0. Nighthawks’ quarterback Tyler Williams then connected in the air to Braunreiter, who shrugged off his defenders on his way to his third score of the game with just less than nine minutes left in the first half.
Williams arm continued to look good as he then found Scott Simmons in the end zone to build a 29-0 Ironwood lead. CDO pushed back with seconds remaining in the half, finding their way to the Nighthawks’ six-yard line, but the Nighthawks’ defense, which was just as impressive as its offense, managed to stop the Dorados from scoring before the clock wound down.
The Dorado defense found no answer for Williams and company in the third quarter. On second down and 19 to go, Williams found wide receiver Jake Matthews in the corner end zone to bring the game to 35-0. The kick was good, bringing the game to 36-0, where it would remain, despite a last minute push by CDO which nearly resulted in a touchdown.
The Nighthawks will look to continue their early success when they face Marana High School on Aug. 31. The Dorados hope to improve to 1-1 when they face Mountain View next Friday.