After back-to-back weeks of emotional games, Cienega looked to be on a collision course for another tough game when the visiting Ironwood Ridge Nighthawks made their way to Vail in this southern Arizona showdown. A week after the Cienega defense yielded more than 500 yards to a good Greenway squad, they knew they would have to strap it up if they planned on coming out victorious in this one against the 2-0 Nighthawks. The Bobcat D did not disappoint, creating six turnovers two of which were interceptions returned for touchdowns, en route to a 34-3 victory over Ironwood Ridge in a rematch of last year's first round game.
Things looked rough for the visiting Nighthawks from the opening drive when QB Bob Farley lost a handle on the ball at midfield giving Cienega great field possession. Three plays later Jesus Short would break away for a 28 yard score putting the Bobcat's up 7-0. Cienega would strike again minutes later when Donte Williams picked off a Farley pass taking it 85 yards to the house for an early 14-0 lead.
Things didn't look any better in the 2nd quarter when a muffed punt would give Cienega great possession at the Ironwood Ridge 15. QB Michael Robertson would scramble in for 15 of his 56 rushing yards and a score for a 20-0 lead. The Nighthawks would get on the scoreboard late in the 2nd with a 38yd FG behind the strong left leg of Daniel Vega. Cienega would go in at the half with a 20-3 lead aided by four Ironwood Ridge turnovers.
The Nighthawks came out firing in the 3rd using the short passing game to eat up chunks of yards and time but Jesus Short would put a halt on any momentum the Nighthawks' had when he intercepted Farley's pass returning it 88 yards to the zone and a 27-3 Bobcat lead. Ironwood Ridge would threaten again early in the 4th behind the combo of Farley to Brian Martinez but a pick by Brent Wilson at the Cienega 5 would put an end to any hopes of a Nighthawk comeback. The Bobcat's would strike once more on a 41 yard run by Kyle Knight with a final score of 34-3.
Bottom Line: Cienega rebounded nicely after a heartbreaker to Greenway last week to improve to 2-1. It was a relatively quiet night offensively for the ‘Cats who amassed more than 400 yards a week ago but you can credit the defense for giving little time to the Cienega O. Ironwood Ridge was able to move the ball effectively through out the entire game but were unable to close out any drives. Cienega has another tough game next week at Saguaro while the Nighthawks will face off against Pinnacle.
Game Balls: For the 3rd week in a row, Jesus Short with 71 yards on 9 carries and 2 TDs including an 88 yard interception return for Cienega. A gameball goes out to the entire Cienega D for rising to the occasion after being challenged by head coach Nemer Hassey. For the Nighthawks RB Dakotah McQuay was a workhorse with 22 carries and 106 yards