Ironwood Ridge senior Dominic Norris is in his second season of playing quarterback, after playing wide receiver in youth football, and his name is already atop the Southern Arizona single-game passing record chart, ahead of the likes of Rodney Peete, Dennis Bene, Trenton Bourguet and Rhett Rodriguez.
Norris threw for 502 yards last week, while competing 23 of 41 pass attempts with four touchdowns in the Nighthawks’ 37-22 win over visiting Tucson High on Friday night.
He compliments the coaching of second-year coach Dale Stott for his rapid development behind center.
Stott is a former Amphi lineman who played for the Panthers’ 1975 state championship team under Jerry Loper. Stott has coached since 1983, when he was an assistant at Santa Rita.
Entering last season, when Stott arrived from St. George, Utah, where he coached a semipro football team in addition to running a interventional pain management practice, the coach encountered a program that returned only one starter from 2021.
Norris was one of a few players who joined the team to help Stott and the program. He played in nine games last season and passed for 895 yards while completing 75 of 153 pass attempts with two touchdowns and four interceptions.
His 502 yards against Tucson was only 393 yards less than what he had all season.
Ironwood Ridge is 6-1 and ranked No. 8 among 5A teams after finishing 1-9 last season.
“It’s a fun experience; the playbook is awesome,” said Norris, who is 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, about this season’s turnaround. “I love playing for Coach Stott. It’s fun. It’s a good team.
“We just have to keep winning, put points on the board and keep doing our job.”
The 502 yards against Tucson tops the previous record of 477 set by Bourguet, a former Marana standout who is now a senior quarterback at Arizona State, in a 2017 victory over Cienega.
Norris has completed 81 of 147 passes for 1,547 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions this season.
“He’s maturing; he gets better with every game,” Stott said. “With every game, he gets better command of the offense.”
Walden Grove senior Gabriel Smith and Sabino senior Cameron Hackworth are in the top five on the chart.
Smith is No. 3 with 467 passing yards last season in a win over Mountain View and Hackworth is No. 5 with his 453 yards in a victory at Safford earlier this season.
Sahuaro legend Reggie Robertson is No. 4 with 466 passing yards in a loss to Glendale Cactus in the 1998 state playoffs.
Here is the list of Southern Arizona quarterbacks who have passed for at least 400 yards in a game:
SOUTHERN ARIZONA SINGLE-GAME PASSING LEADERSList of top single-game passing performances by Southern Arizona quarterbacks. Researched and compiled by AllSportsTucson.com.
|502||Dominic Norris||Ironwood Ridge||Tucson||W/33-21||10/6/2023|
|467||Cameron Hackworth||Sabino||River Valley||W/46-31||11/3/2023|
|467||Gabriel Smith||Walden Grove||Mountain View||W/49-42||10/7/2022|
|431||Olen Valdez||Sunnyside||Desert View||W/39-0||10/28/1994|
|430||Alex Lopez||Walden Grove||Douglas||W/50-3||10/5/2018|
|425||Justice Summerset||Mountain View||Horizon||W/40-37||9/4/2015|
|423||Cameron Hackworth||Sabino||Sequoia Pathway||W/73-40||10/7/2022|
|413||Rhett Rodriguez||Catalina Foothills||Flowing Wells||W/63-7||9/19/2016|
|410||Rhett Rodriguez||Catalina Foothills||Desert View||W/54-14||10/23/2015|
|404||Olen Valdez||Sunnyside||Palo Verde||L/35-34||11/4/1994|
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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. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.