Ironwood Ridge runs past Marcos de Niza

Ironwood Ridge runs past Marcos de Niza


Ironwood Ridge runs past Marcos de Niza


Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge held a special teams clinic early in its 35-27 victory at Tempe Marcos de Niza in a Division II game Friday night.

Combine two blocked punts and a blocked extra point in the first quarter with a punishing ground game, and No.4 Ironwood Ridge ran away with the win. Ironwood Ridge led throughout, and every time third-ranked Marcos de Niza tried to come back, Ironwood Ridge had an answer.

Senior quarterback Tyler Williams and senior running back Anthony Braunreiter pulled most of the weight rushing for Ironwood Ridge. Able to run down the clock throughout the game, Ironwood Ridge (5-0) didn’t give the explosive players for Marcos de Niza much time on the field.

“Obviously, we respect the Phoenix schools,” Williams said. “They have a lot of talent, but we want to show everyone that we have some talent too.”

All fans could talk about as they exited the field was the sure touchdown that Marcos de Niza senior wide receiver and University of Arizona commit Paul Elvira dropped with about six minutes remaining. Elvira had an outstanding game with 163 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Marcos de Niza (4-1) managed its way near the goal line, but was stopped after Ironwood Ridge pummeled senior quarterback Josh Eckley on back-to-back sacks.

Williams sealed the game on a 1-yard run on fourth down and what the public-address announcer called “a millimeter” at the 45-yard line with a 1:47 left.

Up next for Ironwood Ridge is a showdown against arguably the best team in Division II, undefeated Peoria Centennial.

“It’s a big measuring stick to see where we are at, and I’m looking forward to it,” Braunreiter said.

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