OVERTIME: Cienega and Ironwood Ridge meet in season's biggest ga - Tucson News Now

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OVERTIME: Cienega and Ironwood Ridge meet in season's biggest game

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    The schedules were taken from the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Game times and location are subject to change.
    The schedules were taken from the Arizona Interscholastic Association. Game times and location are subject to change.
ORO VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Two teams will meet on the football field Friday night in the biggest high school football game of the season in Southern Arizona.

They are two teams filled with great individual players.

One team however will be missing one of those great individual players.

Ironwood Ridge (7-1) will not have running back Soma Helu when the 4th ranked Nighthawks welcome #2 Cienega (8-0) to the north side on Friday night.

The senior suffered a broken right fibula in IRHS’ Week 8 win over Tucson High. He will miss the remainder of the season.

Helu had rushed for 904 yards and 13 touchdowns. Junior Nick Brahler will be called upon to help carry the offensive load for the Nighthawks. Brahler is tied for second on the team in rushing (356 yards) with nine touchdowns.

The Nighthawks are led primarily by senior quarterback Cole Gerken who has completed 62% of his passes this season for 943 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions.

His top receivers are seniors Daniel Peabody (15-297, 3 TD) and Garrett Billings (14-263).

Senior linebacker Deacon Laurita leads the Nighthawks defensively with 65 tackles and six sacks.

Cienega enters with a two-headed quarterback offensive monster steered by junior Jamarye Joiner.

Joiner has thrown for 787 yards with six touchdowns to one interception while running for 448 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Bobcats also have senior quarterback Tyler Hammons at their disposal. He has not thrown an interception all year while racking up 562 yards and nine touchdowns.

Aaron Sauls is the Bobcats top rusher with 601 yards and eight touchdowns.

Breaben Bolton leads Cienega in the receiving category with 32 catches for 587 yards and six touchdowns.

On defense seniors Chris Vega and Bryce Fontana each have ten tackles for loss for the Bobcats.

Vega is the team’s leading tackler (56). Senior linebacker Sam Wilson has six sacks while Terrell Huggins tops the squad with four interceptions, three came in a win earlier this month over Salpointe Catholic.

Ironwood Ridge has won the last two meetings in the series. The two teams last met in 2014, a 17-7 home victory for the Nighthawks.

Ironwood Ridge’s 35-27 victory in 2013 ended a seven-game losing streak to Cienega.

The Bobcats and Nighthawks first met in 2002, one year after each school opened.

Kickoff at Ironwood Ridge Friday night is 7 p.m.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Series (Cienega 8-3):

(2002) Ironwood Ridge 27-17
(2003) Cienega 35-32
(2004) Cienega 29-7
(2004) Cienega 30-7 (State-1st round)
(2005) Cienega 34-3
(2006) Cienega 40-35
(2009) Cienega 19-7
(2010) Cienega 31-28
(2011) Cienega 24-21 (State semifinals)
(2013) Ironwood Ridge 35-27
(2014) Ironwood Ridge 17-7

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