Centennial jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in their semi-final win over Ironwood Ridge at Chandler High.
Coyote RB John Hughes took the opening kickoff 90 yards to the house to give CHS an early 7-0 lead. IR dug themselves deeper in a hole when Brad Williams intercepted Tyler Damore's pass on the next series and returned it to the 5 yard line. It took Hughes just one play to score and give Centennial a 14-0 lead with just over 1 minute ticked off the clock.
Ironwood Ridge would not fold. Damore came right back and hit TE Ray Cottman for a 68 yard scoring strike to keep the Nighthawks in the game. 14-7.
The teams exchanged two punts a piece before CHS got back on the board. QB Dain McFarland hooked up with Paul Sanchez for a gain of 30, setting up his 13 yards TD pass to Austin Arias. 21-7.
After forcing a three and out, McFarland and the CHS offense went back to work. Dain found WR Justin Callahan on two passes totaling 50 yards to put them in scoring position. Hughes added his third score of the night as he got in from 2 yards out. PAT was no good after a bad snap. 27-7 with 1:30 left to play in the half.
Ironwood Ridge worked some magic before the half. On the very first play of the next drive, Damore hit Scott Campbell who raced down to the 10 yard line. campbell was stripped and fumbled by IR's Adrian Brahler recovered it for a TD. IR also recovered an onside kcik but managed no points. Score at the half 27-14.
Early turnovers in the second half hurt Ironwood Ridge's chance of a comeback. First, Centennial's Jack Ramsey forced a fumble that was recovered by, guess who? John Hughes. And the Coyotes capitalized on a McFarland to Paul Sanchez score.
Austin Garday forced and recovered another IR fumble and Hughes scored his fourth TD of the night when he got in from 6 yards out.
Final- Centennial 42 Ironwood Ridge 14
This was a hard hitting game and tough defense was played on both sides of the ball. Penalties hurt both teams but turnovers are what doomed Ironwood Ridge. Centennial scored off of three IRHS turnovers.
Centennial's John Hughes scored 4 TDs, had an INT and a FR.
Centennial v. Ironwood Ridge
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