Sunrise Mountain defeats Ironwood 50-24 in 1st section game

By: 
DARRELL JACKSON, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy Ironwood High School
Ironwood quarterback Wil Haskell looks to his left and tosses a short pass in the first quarter against Sunrise Mountain Sept. 28 at Ironwood High School.

In a game with as many off-the-field questions as on, Sunrise Mountain and Ironwood entered their first section game of the year. The game had high hopes for a huge battle between two teams aiming for the playoffs.

Sunrise Mountain (4-2) had seven players (five starters) suspended from the game while Ironwood (4-2) got five players who transferred during the offseason, who were forced to sit out the team’s first five games. The teams prepared for their first matchup in nearly three years.

The Mustangs totaled 22 points during the second quarter, while quarterback Keegan Freid totaled 474 yards and seven touchdowns as Sunrise Mountain defeated Ironwood 50-24 Sept. 28 at Ironwood High School.

“(Freid) had some great runs and picked up some big third downs for us,” Sunrise Mountain head coach Steve Decker said. “Our offensive line played great and got a great push up front, and the defense stepped up when we needed it.”

Freid threw for 295 yards and six touchdowns and ran for 179 more and a rushing touchdown, while three different receivers caught touchdown passes led by Kyle Copley’s eight catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Bryce Cord grabbed five passes for 84 yards and three touchdowns, and Ezekiel Marshall caught two passes for 51 yards, both touchdowns, in the victory.

The Mustangs got on the board first when Freid connected on a 25-yard pass to Cord to grab the early lead with just over six minutes left in the first quarter.

Ironwood got the five former Deer Valley players who transferred to Ironwood over the summer back for the game led by sophomore quarterback Will Haskell. Also joining the Eagles were fellow sophomores Sebastian Fiery, Bubba Mannino-Faison and Manny and Sammy Tinoco, who also played their first game of the season.

Haskell got the Eagles on the board when he broke three tackles and rumbled 67 yards for a touchdown with just under five minutes left.

After the two teams exchanged field goals, Freid struck again when he connected with Cord for their second touchdown on a 4-yard pass.

Freid was quick to point to the offensive and defensive lines.

“When they were in the red zone, just getting the stops and blocking that field goal and getting the turnovers, our defense really stepped up to turn the tide and that got the offense rolling,” Freid said. “That was huge.”

Ironwood’s Devante Wimbish tied the game at 17 when he rumbled up the middle for a 7-yard touchdown before the Mustangs took over and pulled away scoring the next 34 points to seal the victory.

“They (Ironwood) are a great football team and we were worried and with all our distractions this week,” Decker said. “Our coaches were phenomenal and the kids played great and did what we needed. A game like this feels just as good as any win in the past three, four years.”

As the Eagles tried to battle back from a 29-17 halftime deficit, the Mustangs defense sacked Haskell three times as the Ironwood offense could only total 34 yards in the third quarter.

Ironwood was led by Haskell who connected on 13 of 30 passes for 227 yards and added 131 rushing yards and a touchdown. Devante Wimbish rushed 14 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

“I probably should’ve just took my time and given more tips to my offensive line of where everything was coming from to try and help my team as best as they could,” Haskell said. “Give them credit, they were the better team today.”

Sunrise Mountain travels to Kellis (0-6) Oct. 5 at Kellis High School while Ironwood travels to Apollo (2-4) Oct. 5 at Apollo High School.

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