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Perfect season

Spartans end regular season 9-0 with 43-0 win over Trojans

Solon hosts Decorah Friday in first round of 3A football playoffs

SOLON– The Spartans ended the perfect regular season at 9-0 (7-0) with a 43-0 exclamation-point victory over the Fairfield Trojans Friday, Oct. 20, at Spartan Stadium.
A Senior Night win capped the Spartans’ perfect season of “Do what we do!” as the Solon defense held Fairfield to 53 total yards passing and just two yards rushing on 21 carries in 48 minutes of football.
The defensive performance set up Solon’s offense to accumulate 162 yards passing, going 10-17, and rush for 214 yards on 33 carries.
As is customary with the final regular season home game, Solon paid homage to the 18 senior football players, recognizing their final season in the black and orange and recognizing the senior parents, along with other fall activities seniors.
However, this year it did not seem so much of a good-bye as it was anticipation– could the Spartans make it the first perfect 9-0 regular season since 2009?
The Spartan football team answered the question resoundingly in the first quarter. Although Fairfield managed a couple first downs during its opening drive, one on a roughing the passer penalty against Solon and on a 18-yard run by Trojan Tristan Waugh, 11 of the 12 offensive attempts by Fairfield were incomplete passes or rushes for loss or no gain.
The Spartan offense, after an initial three-and-out, scored on its next three possessions on four or fewer plays each time. The first score was on an Adam Bock 1-yard run with Aidan Dall scampering into the end zone for a two-point conversion; the second was a 43-yard strike from Cam Miller to A.J. Coons on the first play from scrimmage following a Trojan punt, capped by the uprights being split by Dall; and the third, just before the end of the quarter, came on a 40-yard rumble by Kendrick Harris topped with another Dall kick.
“The offensive line has continued to improve on a weekly basis. They do a great job of communicating and have a thorough understanding of what we’re trying to do within our run game,” Coach Kevin Miller commented. “Tyler Linderbaum, Rocky Lensing, Joe Kral, Kale Altman and Zach Wegmann have all done a tremendous job.”
Solon led 22-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Solon showcase the receiving talents of Spencer Wegmann as he caught two passes, strikes from Miller of 17 and 23 yards, each for a score, both capped with the uprights divided by the foot of Dall. Solon extended its lead, 36-0.
The fourth quarter saw Hunter Kula add yardage to his resume as he pounded one in from seven yards out, complemented by another Dall kick, to wind the continuous clock. Solon led 43-0.
The Spartans subbed the seniors out as announcer Don Ellis acknowledged their exits from the field during the remainder of the game with the score stagnant until the final horn sounded, the scoreboard affirming the Spartans’ conclusion to a perfect regular season, 9-0.
The Spartans were jubilant following the game, bouncing in a huddle chanting both before and following postgame comments from Coach Miller, even taking time to pose for a senior group photo at Coach Miller’s request.
When pressed if there was anyone in particular he would like to thank following the 9-0 regular season triumph, Coach Miller reflected.
“There are so many people to thank that I’m afraid I would miss someone,” he said. “Honestly, I would like to start with thanking the parents for the opportunity to coach their sons, they have been enjoyable to coach. Secondly, we want to thank the student body and community for supporting our team this season. I can’t recall a year where we’ve had such a tremendous turnout at games, the environment has been electric and I know the players are very appreciative.”
Cam Miller led the trio of quarterbacks for the Spartans, going 10-15 passing for 162 yards and three touchdowns, the longest the 43-yard strike to Coons. Both Ben Krutzfeldt and Seamus Poynton were 0-1 passing with Poynton carrying the ball five times for 12 yards.
Miller hit Bock four times for 63 yards; Coons once for 43 yards and a touchdown; Wegmann twice for 37 yards and two touchdowns, the longest 23 yards; Payton Bandy, twice for 15 yards; and Storm Scott once for four yards.
The offensive line dismantled the Trojans’ defense so Harris could lead the charge, rushing 14 times for 108 yards. Kula carried the ball eight times for 63 yards, Jason Stahle had five touches for 30 yards, and Adam Bock carried the ball once for a yard.
The defense controlled the game, stymieing Fairfield. Zach Wegmann led the Spartans with three solo tackles, one a sack for a loss, and three assists. Harris tied up three solo tackles and assisted on two, Ryan Geistkemper recorded two solo tackles and two assists, Coal Flansburg had a solo sack and four assists, Bock collected a solo tackle and an assist, Tyler Linderbaum wrestled down a solo tackle and assisted on three, Mason Stahle had a solo tackle and assisted on two, Spencer Wegmann assisted on four tackles, Hunter Brown and Ryan Sniezek recorded a tackle and an assist apiece, Matt Folkerts assisted on three tackles, Andy Brokaw, Jackson Pipolo and Storm Scott each recorded a solo tackle, Chase Gehrke assisted on two tackles, and Greg Brandt, Rowdy Koehn and Colton Spillman assisted on a tackle apiece.
Folkerts maintained the Spartans’ streak of creating opportunities by recovering a Trojan fumble and returning it for eight yards.
Dall was a perfect 5-5 on point-after attempts. Bock punted twice for 87 yards, his longest was a 65-yarder, and kicked off seven times tallying 354 total yards with two touchbacks.
Bandy also served on special teams, returning two punts for a total of 55 yards.
As Coach Miller recounted several times, the team has had two goals thus far in the season– a district championship and a perfect season. With those attained, Coach Miller offered new goals for the postseason.
“Our first goal is to win Friday night’s game,” he said. “We need to stay focused on playing one game at a time and not get ahead of ourselves.”

The Spartans host the Decorah Vikings (7-2, 5-2) on Friday, Oct. 27, at Spartan Stadium starting at 7 p.m. opening postseason play. Admission will be $6. No passes will be accepted.
The Vikings’ only two losses came back-to-back during the regular season at the hands of Cedar Rapids Xavier, 21-13, on Friday, Sept. 22, and on Friday, Sept. 29, to Waverly-Shell Rock, 17-7. The Vikings hold wins this season over North Fayette Valley (31-6), Crestwood (14-6), Vinton-Shellsburg (55-0), Benton (49-21), South Tama (49-6), Charles City (34-0) and Independence (52-14).
Decorah will enter Spartan Stadium on Friday night fresh off the Independence road win after their quarterback Brannan Hogan went 5-12 passing for 69 yards total to three receivers and the offense rushed for 392 yards, 257 provided by their senior running back Jake Muhlbauer.
“We are excited to be in the playoffs and looking forward to the various challenges that we’ll be faced with,” Miller said. “Decorah is traditionally an outstanding program. Decorah plays exceptionally hard and executes at a very high level. They play tough and physical and will present some challenges because they are fundamentally sound. Offensively, they run the ball well and have two good running backs that can make plays. Defensively, they play hard and physical with great pad level.”
Asked if preparation changes now for the playoffs, Coach Miller responded. “We try to pick up the tempo in practice and cut down on the amount of time we’re practicing,” he said. “Also, we try to limit the amount of contact that takes place throughout practice. We still put a premium on fundamental development and being sound with our execution.”
With an adaptable offense and level hitting defense, able to run up scores against their opponents, and losing a close one to Cedar Rapids Xavier in the Decorah Vikings, the Spartans may face their stoutest competition yet this season.
Quarterfinal round playoffs are slated for Friday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. with location dependant upon qualifiers. The 3A semifinal rounds are scheduled for either 5:36 p.m. or 8:21 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the UNI-Dome, in Cedar Falls. Those making it past the semis meet Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7:06 p.m., in Cedar Falls, at the UNI-Dome for the 3A championship.
The Spartan seniors pose for a photo on Senior Night at Spartan Stadium on Friday, Oct. 20, shortly after the 43-0 victory over the Fairfield Trojans to complete the first perfect 9-0 regular season for Solon since 2009. Back row; Luke Ira, Zach Wegmann, Joe Kral, Alex Allen, Chase Gehrke, Greg Brandt, Storm Scott, Spencer Wegmann and Ben Krutzfeldt. Front row: Kendrick Harris, Chase Gehrke, Ryan Sniezek, Rowdy Koehn, Jack Stahle, Payton Bandy, Ethan Yahr and Tyler Linderbaum. (photos by Jeff Hess)