The Nighthawks’ ground game continues to be the key to success, as Ironwood Ridge remains undefeated at 5-0 after defeating Marcos de Niza Friday night.
It was another big night for senior Mitch Fischer, who led the Nighthawks 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.
In the opening drive, quarterback Tyler Williams found the corner of the end zone on a six-yard run, giving the Nighthawks a 7-0 lead.
Fischer would score two touchdowns in the first half. One from two yards out, and one more on a 48-yard run where he ran untouched to the house.
Williams scored again with 5:05 left in the first half to give the Nighthawks a 27-0 lead.
The Padres would get on the board before the half, capitalizing on a Nighthawks’ turnover. 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 five yards out with 1:46 on the clock, 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’ 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.
Fischer would gain another 21 yards in the clutch drive, before Williams put the game away, stretching to cross the goal line from four yards out.
With 3:17 left to play, the Nighthawks’ touchdown put the game out of reach at 34-20.
Fischer said the Nighthawks were able to regain composure because of Coach Johnson teaching the players to overcome adversity and win.
With a 5-0 record and tough games ahead, Fischer said the Nighthawks are going to “keep doing what we’re doing.”
In games around the region, Canyon Del Oro High School won its third consecutive game, defeating Flowing Wells 52-10. The Dorados are 3-2.
Mountain View fell to 3-2, after a second straight loss Friday night. The Mountain Lions lost to Cienege 31-3.