Ironwood Ridge High School has announced its tentative 2020 football schedule that includes three games against Phoenix-area teams to start the season before hosting Salpointe on Sept. 11 in a showdown that will include Nighthawks quarterback Peyton Pelletier going against his former school and twin brother Parker.
The schedule is tentative for two reasons: nobody knows if football will be played in the fall — or if the season will start on time — because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and full schedules will not be released by the Arizona Interscholastic Association until all the schools finalize their schedules.
Here is the schedule for Ironwood Ridge, which will play under second-year coach James Hardy:
After playing at Peoria Ironwood to start the season on Aug. 21, Ironwood Ridge will host Mesa Desert Ridge and travel to Gilbert Campo Verde, before hosting the Lancers.
Peyton Pelletier, a senior-to-be, played briefly in one game for the Lancers last year before transferring after it appeared Treyson Bourguet (sophomore last season) would get the starting quarterback role under former coach Dennis Bene.
Peyton’s brother Parker remained at Salpointe and will be a senior cornerback with the Lancers. Salpointe will play for new coach Eric Rogers, who has been with the school as an assistant varsity coach, head freshman coach and head junior varsity coach for 14 seasons starting in 2002.
Parker is one of only three top defenders — out of 20 — who is returning for Salpointe, which also loses high-profile running back Bijan Robinson and cornerback Lathan Ransom from the Lancers’ program that reached the open-division state semifinals last year.
Other scheduling notes:
— Marana and Mountain View have announced they will renew their rivalry after a six-year hiatus. The teams last played for “The Boot” in the 2014 season opener, won by host Mountain View 53-2.
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— Salpointe is slated to travel on Sept. 25 to play Phoenix Pinnacle — the school it eliminated in last year’s quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
— The Lancers are also scheduled to host perennially competitive Cienega and coach Pat Nugent on Sept. 4.
— Cienega has released its schedule:
— Scott McKee’s 12th season as head coach at Sahuaro is scheduled to kick off on Aug. 28 with the Cougars hosting Phoenix Arcadia. Highly touted offensive tackle Jonah Miller, who verbally committed to Oregon on Tuesday, will not be eligible per AIA transfer rules until the sixth game of the season. Miller, who left Salpointe for Sahuaro, will have to await that date because Sahuaro’s full schedule is not set yet.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.