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Ironwood Ridge coach Matt Johnson holds the championship trophy as the Nighthawks celebrate the school's second state title in a team sport.
Ironwood Ridge running back Anthony Braunreiter leaps through an opening in the Centennial defense in the second quarter at Sun Devil Stadium.
TEMPE - The day began quietly.
The past three weeks, right before his team has taken the field, Ironwood Ridge coach Matt Johnson has told his team a joke.
Palo Verde celebrated a state title at Arizona Stadium in 2005, but it's rare for a local team to win one in the Phoenix area.
When Ironwood Ridge beat Tempe Marcos de Niza in the Division II semifinals, it accomplished a program first by advancing to the state championship football game.
Peoria Centennial running back Jalen Ortiz was a thorn in Salpointe's side all night, rushing for 219 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
Salpointe receiver Cameron Denson had 112 yards against Centennial, almost half of the Lancers' total yards in the loss.
Lancers defender Kevin Hamlett, left, breaks up a pass intended for Centennial's Shawn Poindester in the end zone during the second quarter of their Division II state semifinal at Amphitheater High School.
Salpointe Catholic had a chance to grab a piece of elusive momentum at the start of the second quarter against Peoria Centennial on Friday in a Division II semifinal.
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