OVERTIME: Turnovers undo Nighthawks' title bid - Tucson News Now

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OVERTIME: Turnovers undo Nighthawks' title bid

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ORO VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Jace Koester ran for five touchdowns as Queen Creek took advantage of a pair of second half turnovers to beat Ironwood Ridge 42-26 Thursday night and advance to the state 5A semifinals.

Koester scored on runs of 21, two, two, five and one yards. He entered the game with 15 touchdowns on the season.

The Nighthawks (9-3) were trying to reach the state semifinals for the fourth time in head coach Matt Johnson’s eight years at the school.

The Bulldogs took an early 14-0 lead but Ironwood Ridge had trimmed that deficit to 21-20 at the half.

Ironwood Ridge running back Nick Brahler ran for a pair of first half touchdowns.

Garrett Billings, who caught six touchdown passes in the Nighthawks 50-20 1st round playoff win over Flowing Wells, grabbed a 45-yard touchdown reception from Cole Gerken. The senior quarterback added a three-yard fourth quarter touchdown run.

Queen Creek (10-2) though recovered a pair of second half fumbles by the Nighthawks and turned both takeaways into touchdowns.

The Bulldogs will face Gilbert Williams Field in the 5A state semifinals next Friday night.

Williams Field ended Marana’s (9-3) season with a 41-14 win.

The other 5A semifinal will pit top seed Cienega against #5 seed Peoria Centennial. The Bobcats (12-0) beat Gilbert Mesquite 63-38 thanks to three rushing touchdowns from Dakota Poe.

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