Nighthawks look to get to 2012 State Championship, will accept no less - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Nighthawks look to get to 2012 State Championship, will accept no less

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Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 5:00 pm

The Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks aren’t willing to settle for anything less than an appearance at the Division II state tournament this football season.

Last season, the Nighthawks were only one game shy of doing just that, falling to Cienega High School 24-21 in a tough-fought battle led by then senior Mitch Fischer.

The Nighthawks finished the 2011 season 10-3.

Despite the loss of the star running back in Fischer, now playing at Pima Community College, Ironwood hasn’t lost any of its fighting spirit. The team has united more than than ever to compensate for Fischer’s departure.

“We’ve challenged our individual players to each pick up something extra to make up for it,” said fourth-year Head Coach Matt Johnson. “No one player can make up for the loss of Mitch. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever coached.”

The running attack for the Nighthawks appeared strong opening night on Aug. 24 when Anthony Braunreither took over the reigns. Braunreither had a good first game, racking up a combined 111 yards in running and receiving.

No doubt the arrival of senior Cris Thorson will help fill any void. Thorson, who spent three years as Mountain View’s standout player in a variety of offensive and defensive positions, will graduate a Nighthawk after transferring schools this fall.

As slot receiver and cornerback, Thorson will work closely with Nighthawks’ veteran Tyler Williams, whose speed and agility will be put to use on all sides of the ball at quarterback and safety.

“These guys are great leaders in a group of seniors who all understand that sweat, mixed with a great attitude, equals success,” said Johnson.

Johnson said amidst the various changes leading into the regular season, there is another that has forced the team to adjust its game plan.

“We’re smaller than normal, so we have to execute more accurately,” he said. “We are putting far more emphasis on technique this year. Our biggest philosophy is to work harder than anybody, and balance all that hard work out with having fun out there on the field.”

The Nighthawks faced rival Canyon Del Oro High School on Aug. 24, winning 36-0.

This week, the Nighthawks will look to go 2-0, traveling to take on the Marana Tigers on Aug. 31.


2012 Nighthawks Schedule

Date    Opponent    

8/24     vs Canyon Del Oro

8/31     @ Marana

9/7       @ Tucson

9/14     @ Cholla

9/21     @ Marcos de Niza

9/28     vs Centennial

10/5     @ Mountain View

10/12    vs Flowing Wells

10/19    vs Catalina Foothills

10/26    @ Salpointe Catholic     

All games begin at 7 p.m.

© 2016 Tucson Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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HS Schedule


Aug. 21

Hamilton @ Ironwood Ridge

Rio Rico @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Desert Edge

Aug. 28

CDO @ Gilbert

Mountain View @ La Joya Community

Pueblo @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Bisbee

Sep. 4

CDO @ Tucson High Magnet School

Westwood @ Ironwood Ridge

Horizon @ Mountain View

Marana @ Pueblo

Benson @ Pusch Ridge

Catalina Foothills @ Cienega

Sep. 11

CDO @ Sahuaro

Salpointe @Ironwood Ridge

Mountain View @ Sunnyside

Arcadia @ Marana

McClintock @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Combs

Sep. 18

Cienega @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Tucson High

Buena @ Mountain View

Marana @ Tempe

Catalina Foothills @ Rincon/University

Pusch Ridge @ Amphi

Sep. 25

Buena @ CDO

Sahuaro @ Ironwood Ridge

Mountain View at Cienega

Marana @ Catalina Foothills

Cholla @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 2

CDO @ Ironwood Ridge

Queen Creek @ Mountain View

Nogales @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Safford

Sahuarita @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 9

Poston Butte @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge @ Queen Creek

Shadow Ridge @ Mountain View

Marana @ Desert View

Nogales @ Catalina Foothills

Pusch Ridge @ Flowing Wells

Oct 16

CDO @ Queen Creek

Ironwood Ridge @ Marcos de Niza

Mountain View @ Poston Butte

Rincon/University @ Marana

Catalina Foothills @ Sabino

Pueblo @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 23

Mountain View @ CDO

Poston Butte @ Ironwood Ridge

Marana @ Safford

Desert View @ Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove @ Pusch Ridge

Oct. 30

CDO @ Campo Verde 

Ironwood Ridge @ Mountain View

Sabino @ Marana

Pusch Ridge @ Rio Rico

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