• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Mustangs broken by Spartans, 42-14

No. 8 Solon controls No. 6 Mt. Vernon, 42-14
Jackson Ryan dashes up a seam with the ball behind his lead blockers Carson Shive and Ben Cusick on Friday, Oct. 2, at Spartan Stadium. Solon defeated Highway 1 rival Mount Vernon, 42-14, on Senior Night.

SOLON – A fitting Senior Night victory as the eighth-ranked Solon Spartans lassoed, saddled and broke the sixth-ranked Mount Vernon Mustangs, 42-14, at Spartan Stadium on Friday, Oct. 2.
During the build-up, the game was packaged with the 5-0 (3-0) Mount Vernon Mustangs entering the Oct. 2 match up with an established passing and receiving game, hoping to end a 17-game losing streak to the Spartans. Solon 3-2 (3-0), sported a three-game winning streak since opening the season 0-2, with a dominant, clock-consuming rushing game. The game possessed all the ingredients to determine the Class 2A District 6 champion, while also being the Spartans’ last home game of the regular season.
The Machine Shed Mantra, south of Solon, was arguably a bit controversial, but foretold the outcome: “Beating a dead horse… Again.”
Head Coach Lucas Stanton, a former Mount Vernon Mustang and 2002 graduate, was clear the game would be a statement.
“Yes, I think it was a statement game for us,” he said. “Honestly, I was probably a little more amped up than normal. I just wanted the win for our players really bad. I was probably a little more amped up than usual, but not sure if that was because of it being my alma mater or not.
“It was a great atmosphere and a big game so I think my emotions were focused on that piece of it.”
Coach Stanton said his players wanted the game as well.
“They knew Mount Vernon was undefeated coming in and they wanted to be sure to get going early. At halftime, we were able to get a good look at (what) we were getting on both sides of the ball,” he noted. “There were a few adjustments– we wanted to make to make sure we finished out the game the way we wanted to. We knew what they were probably going to come out and do in the second half.”
The result was a happy one for the entire team, he said.
“I was really happy for our seniors to go out on Senior Night and put one on our rival,” Stanton commented. “Just a great postgame setting for all of our kids.”
Solon wanted to show Mount Vernon the Spartans could be a force, he added.
When the Mustangs deferred after winning the coin toss, Solon set to work.
Jackson Ryan carried the ball for 11 yards, quarterback Blake Timmons rattled off 15 yards on a keeper and Hayden Taylor scrambled for another 15 yards on a 11-rushing-play-drive culminating in Taylor strolling a yard into the end zone, on a second and two. Brent Lumpkin split the uprights for a 7-0 lead with 7:11 on the clock.
The Mustangs responded as Mount Vernon’s Collin Swantz grabbed a 61-yard toss from quarterback Brady Ketchum and kicker Jake Coon succeeded with the point-after. The Mustangs tied the game at 7-7 with 2:40 remaining.
At the end of one quarter, it was a 7-7 impasse.
The Spartans scored again, following an exchange of timeouts, facing a second and goal from the three on a pass from Timmons to Colton Hoffman. Lumpkin kicked the point-after attempt (PAT) and Solon regained the lead, 14-7, with 9:25 remaining on a drive consuming 5:15 and covering 73 yards in 10 plays.
Mount Vernon began to build some steam on its next possession, but Solon junior Parker Pentico leapt in front of a Mount Vernon receiver for an interception and the air all but evacuated the visitor’s side of the stadium.
The Spartans’ pursuant drive ended with Timmons breaking away for 63 yards to the end zone and Lumpkin connected again on his PAT. Solon led, 21-7, with the seven-play, 80-yard drive covering less than two minutes. The Spartans held the Mustangs scoreless in the second quarter as Ben Cusick and Austin Quaintance got to Mount Vernon’s Ketchum with 1:09 remaining in the half to bring up a fourth and 17.
Solon held the 21-7 lead at half.
The Spartans dominated the first half rushing for 222 yards on 33 attempts, the only blemishes were two big passing plays where Ketchum connected with Collin Swantz for a total of 120 yards.
Coach Stanton expected the team to come out and dictate the tempo and pace of the game.
“That was our expectation and we made it a point from our very first team meeting while prepping for Mount Vernon,” he said. “I think (the team) certainly did look comfortable. I think we have quite a few guys who had very little to no varsity experience the first half of the season and they are now comfortable. I think for it being a rivalry game and (with) district title implications they handled the pressure very well.”
The Spartans held the Highway 1 rival Mustangs scoreless in the third quarter while grounding out time on the field, culminating in a 13-yard run by Jackson Ryan for a score, adorned with a Lumpkin PAT to make it 28-7.
Another five-yard scoring scramble by Taylor followed by another Lumpkin kick gave Solon a 35-7 margin entering the fourth quarter.
Mount Vernon busted out a final big play, as Mustang Trenton Pitlik scurried 44 yards to the end zone and Jake Coon succeeded on the point-after to narrow Solon’s lead, 35-14.
The Spartans scored a final time in the fourth quarter on a five-yard carry by Taylor, garnished with another Lumpkin kick for the 42-14 final score.
The only blemish for Solon’s performance was the prevalence of laundry on the field, with 16 penalties costing the Spartans 132 yards.
“We’ve had that all year,” Coach Stanton professed to another media outlet. “We’ve got to be more disciplined. We’ve just got to.”
Coach Stanton credited the entire team for the victory once again.
“We had a great week of practice and every player contributed in some way,” he said. “Our scout team, especially running Mount Vernon’s defense, gave us a great look all week.”
Pressed for specific moments he felt were pivotal in the game, Coach Stanton was not at a loss.
“A couple moments stick out in my mind,” he summarized. “Our first offensive series set the tone for us and the game, I believe. I was really pleased with how our defense responded to (Mount Vernon’s) first touchdown when they came back with another big pass play, but we didn't panic. I thought we showed some toughness there.”
He also praised Pentico’s performance.
“I was happy to see Parker come back after that long touchdown and get that INT for us,” Stanton said. “He has done a good job of stepping in for Bo (Janssen).
“The last one that sticks in my mind was the 97-yard drive we had.”
The Spartan defense sacked Ketchum six times and limited the Mustangs to 20-40 passing for 269 total yards including a touchdown and rushing 22 times for just 86 total yards and the other touchdown. The Mustang defense was credited with 61 total tackles, including three sacks and six for a loss. Mount Vernon was held to a season low of 14 points.
Timmons completed five of eight passes during the evening for 82 total yards and a touchdown while carrying the ball 14 times for 148 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan carried the ball 22 times accumulating 159 yards and a touchdown; Hayden Taylor handled the ball 15 times amassing 57 yards and three touchdowns; and Carson Miller rushed three times for 22 yards.
Colton Hoffman snatched three balls from Timmons for 49 yards and a touchdown; Ben Cusick pulled in one toss from Timmons for 21 yards; and Carson Miller snatched one for 12 yards.
Carson Shive recorded 7.5 tackles on the evening including six solos, one sack and two for a loss; Ryan was responsible for five solo tackles; Danny Knezevich and Colton Hoffman recorded four solo tackles apiece; Lucas TePoel had four tackles total, including three solo, a half of a sack and a half tackle for loss; Jake Quillin recorded three solo tackles; Will Noonan, Zach Harp and Ben Cusick were responsible for 2.5 each- Noonan’s and Harp’s included two solos, and Cusick’s included two solos with 1.5 sacks for a loss; Parker Pentico and Logan Sieverding had two solos apiece; and Austin Schwake was responsible for 1.5, including a solo. A tackle apiece was credited to Brayden Rickertsen, Jackson Clevenger, Austin Quaintance and Erich Karsten and Brock Reimers and Hayden Taylor participated on a half tackle apiece.
Quaintance fell on a Mustang fumble. Pentico was responsible for the interception with a 20-yard return.
Quillin and Ryan were responsible for kick returns with two for 39 yards and one for no gain, respectively. Ryan handled a sole punt return for 14 yards.
Lumpkin was six-for-six on PATs and Timmons punted twice amassing 82 total yards.
Mount Vernon falls to 5-1 (3-1) and hosts South Tama Friday, Oct. 9.
The Spartans (4-2, 4-0) can claim the district title Friday, Oct. 9, by defeating the Center Point-Urbana (CPU) Stormin’ Pointers (3-3, 1-3). Friday’s game starts at 7:30 p.m. at Center Point.
“You can't take any game lightly and CPU is playing some really good football right now,” Coach Stanton warned. “They are a good pro-style offense that really wants to establish the run and have a solid play-action game. Defensively they have an aggressive front seven and will give a few different looks.”
“We will prepare as usual and not look ahead to what could be,” he assured. “We are always working stuff in, to have in the future, but this game is the only one that matters right now. We still have things we need to get better at if we want to be where we want to be in November.”