Salpointe Catholic vs. Ironwood RidgePosted: Updated:
We're halfway through the regular season and the best of the best are separating themselves from the rest of the pack. This week's game of the week features a pair of squads that are currently amongst the best. The Salpointe Lancers went through one of the toughest non-region gauntlets to start the year and according to head coach Dennis Bene the team is that much better at this point in the season. Despite coming up short in a defensive battle against Pinnacle, the Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks have forced their will on every opponent this year.
Salpointe's offense exploded last week against Mt. View led by QB Trevor Eggleston's 314 passing yards and 3 TD's. Wide receiver Mike Descisciolo and running back Christian Ramirez are Eggleston's favorite targets combining for 1101 total offensive yards and 9 touchdowns. An offense with rhythm such as the Lancers along with a defense that makes the big play on crucial downs; it's no surprise Salpointe is confident at home, on the road, and still undefeated
The Nighthawks defense is arguably the best in Southern Arizona if not the entire state, shutting out 2 of their 5 opponents holding teams to average of 6.2 points per game. Led by senior linebackers Jake Fischer (30 tkls) and Ray Cottman (28 tkls), the Ironwood Ridge defense takes offense to anyone who thinks they can move the ball against them running or passing. With a variety of playmakers, Gary Minor's offense is extremely methodical scoring just under 36 points per game. That kind of balance can be stifling to those on the other side of the ball.
It's usually one team's defense against the other's offense that headlines a match up like this, but since the Nighthawks and Lancers have big play ability on both sides of the ball; special teams may be the hidden factor that decides the game. It may come down to those final seconds where anything can happen. Will you be there to see it? I will. See you at the game.