No. 11 Ironwood Ridge at No. 6 Marcos de Niza - East Valley Tribune: Home

No. 11 Ironwood Ridge at No. 6 Marcos de Niza

Ironwood Ridge at Marcos de Niza:  Which way will the Padres go?  Having essentially lost coach Roy Lopez for this week (the future is still unknown), the Padres could go crazy and wipe the floor with the rest of Division II. Or they could fold the tents given the magnitude of what’s gone on around the program this week. Beyond the subplots, this will be the third meeting between the schools in the past two years, with Ironwood Ridge winning the regular season and playoff matchups last year. This, however, is a vastly different IR squad, and a recent three-game losing streak has the Div. II defending champions looking vulnerable. Josh Eckley has been close to his old self running and passing the ball since returning from an ankle injury, and while it’ll never fully heal, the things he did in the second half against Saguaro last week are hard to defend. Ironwood Ridge has come to Tempe and won before, but Marcos’ offense is playing well, Ironwood Ridge isn’t quite the same as the 2012 version (watch out in 2014, however), and the extra elements of distraction and emotions with the Lopez situation will be channeled in the Padres’ favor.

Prediction:   Marcos de Niza 35, Ironwood Ridge 27

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