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Cottman, Brahler lead Nighthawks’ 2nd-half surge

Citizen Staff Writer



A first half dogfight evolved into a second half romp as Ironwood Ridge scored the final 30 points of the game to down Mountain View 37-8 to close out the regular season.

The host Nighthawks (8-2, 2-1 5A South-II) took the opening drive of the second half and capped it with a bootleg pass to tight end Ray Cottman that went 39-yards as Ironwood Ridge took a 14-8 lead and never looked back.

“I think that was key,” said Ironwood Ridge coach Gary Minor. “We thought that pass to Cottman, our tight end, would be there.”

Despite dominating the possession battle in the first half, Ironwood Ridge could not crack the end zone in the first quarter. Their first four drives all started inside Mountain View territory, but a fumble at the goal line and a strong Mountain View pass rush, stopped the Nighthawks.

In the second quarter, Ironwood Ridge quarterback Tyler D’Amore found Adrian Brahler on a 34-yard pass, setting up a 1-yard Brahler touchdown run for the 7-0 lead.

D’Amore was 11 of 18 for 189 yards and two touchdowns.

Mountain View (4-6, 1-2) answered on the next drive, scoring its lone touchdown on a 1-yard C.J. Evenson run set up by a 14-yard Myles Williams run.

Mountain View had the extra point blocked, but got a safety on the next series for the 8-7 lead.

Cottman caught two second-half touchdowns and Brahler ran for two more.

Cottman also anchored a defense that was missing star linebacker Jake Fischer, who was injured in the first half of the Oct. 31 Sunnyside game and missed Friday’s Mountain View game as a precaution before the playoffs.

“Any time you can beat your rival without a top player is good,” Minor said.

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