The Nighthawks’ ground game continues to be the key to success, as Ironwood Ridge High School’s football team remains undefeated at 5-0, after defeating Marcos de Niza 34-20, Friday night.
It was another big night for senior Mitch Fischer, who came through for the Nighthawks with the game on the line in the fourth quarter.
“That last drive was clutch,” said Fischer. “I wanted the ball, and my line opened up the holes. The line is the key to our success; without them, it doesn’t get done.”
The Nighthawks appeared to have the game under control throughout the entire first half, leading at one point 27-0.
In the opening drive, quarterback Tyler Williams found the corner of the end zone on a 6-yard scamper, giving the Nighthawks a 7-0 lead.
Fischer would score two more touchdowns in the first half – one from 2 yards out, and one more on a 48-yard run where he ran untouched to the house.
Fischer had 208 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns for the night.
The Marcos de Niza Padres would get on the board before the half, capitalizing on a Nighthawks’ mistake.
Fischer missed the lateral pass from Williams, and the Padres recovered, setting up a first down inside the 10-yard line.
Padres’ tailback Mauriece Lee capitalized, scoring from 5 yards out with 1:46 left in the half, cutting the Nighthawks’ lead to 27-7.
In the second half, the Padres defense keyed in on Fischer, and Williams got banged up on a defensive play.
The momentum shift began, and the Padres went on to score 13 unanswered points to cut the Nighthawks’ lead to 27-20 with 11:51 left in the game.
Nighthawks’ head coach Matt Johnson said Marcos de Niza is a good team, and Ironwood Ridge caught a lot of breaks in the first half.
“We caught them at the beginning. We were able to build up a lead, and hang on to the end,” he said.
In the final offensive drive for the Nighthawks, Fischer took control. On a third down and 13, Fischer carried the ball 22 yards into Padres’ territory.