Centennial rolls past Ironwood - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Centennial rolls past Ironwood

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Posted: Friday, November 2, 2007 10:01 pm | Updated: 7:47 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Colossus roller coaster has nothing on Ironwood High School's football team. The Southern California staple has two drops that top out at more than 100 feet and at one time took riders backwards through the coaster. That's how the Eagles (4-6, 3-2) must feel after finishing their season with a 45-0 loss to defending 5A Division II champion Centennial (9-1, 5-0) Friday night at home. It was Ironwood's second straight defeat, and follows a four-game win streak that saw the Eagles sneak into the playoffs. But it was Ironwood's first drop that put them in a Colossus-sized hole to start the season. They fell to Chandler (50-7), Marcos De Niza (63-37), Mountain View (55-0) and Deer Valley (15-12) ? all playoff teams ? before hitting the climb and notching their first win beating Alhambra, and reeling off three more against non-contenders. Now they're in another fall and it's coming at the wrong time of the ride. Centennial's defense wreaked havoc in the Eagles' backfield, forcing four fumbles and hauling in two interceptions. Five turnovers were turned into points, and when Ironwood did punt it was often deep in their own zone giving the Coyotes a short field to work with. Using alternating attacks, Centennial started the game running the ball. The Coyotes first drive took eight plays and covered 32 yards, and all but one was a run, culminated with running back Jeff Hughes's 9-yard draw to the right side. It was the first of two touchdowns for the Coyote senior. One its second drive, Centennial took seven plays to drive 40 yards, five of which were passes. Quarterback Scott Burgett finished off the march with a six-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Steven Waggoner. "My rhythm wasn't where I wanted it to be early on," said the senior. "But you know what, we still scored, we put points on the board and got the win. That's what matters." Burgett finished the night on the sidelines, giving way to senior Billy Sanchez midway through the third quarter who was given hand off detail. With the offense clicking, the defense shined as well. The Coyotes allowed 64 total yards and Ironwood earned just five first downs in the game. And so they weren't left out of the scoring, the unit also put points on the board with a fumble recovery and an interception. During the span of six minutes in the second quarter, senior defensive end Josh Zuniga collected two fumbles, the last of which he pulled out of a pile at the Ironwood 23 yard line and rumbled untouched to put the Coyotes up 31-0. Then it appeared senior defensive back Jarrell Barbour's No. 23 shirt was everywhere, at least that's how it must have appeared to the Eagles' offensive unit. Three plays into the second half, Barbour picked an Ironwood pass and took a sideline route down the left side for a touchdown, his second of the game (he also caught a Burgett touchdown pass in the second quarter). One play later Barbour was there again, intercepting his second pass of the night at the Centennial 43 yard line. "We were able to control the ball pretty well, but they were playing us hard there until that pick (Jarrell Barbour) ran back," Burgett said. "I think that one hit them (Ironwood) hard and it pulled out their heart. "This is how we want it, 9-1 in regular season, undefeated in the region, and I now know what is expected of me in the playoffs."

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