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Solon kicks its way to 2nd round

Spartans defeat Demons in OT
Solon’s Bo Black zeroes in on Washington’s Jack Giardino during Solon’s 17-14 overtime win against the Demons Oct. 28 in Washington. (photo by Mary Hadenfeldt)

“Revenge is a dish that tastes best when it is cold.” – Don Corleone, “The Godfather,” 1969.
WASHINGTON– The Spartans listened to the old adage Oct. 28 and defeated the Washington Demons in overtime, exorcizing a week-five loss, 17-14.
Solon traveled south to Case Field in Washington, the site of a less-than-stellar performance in week five, to meet the Washington Demons in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs.
The evening, wrapped in a cold fall embrace, was a defense-grinding, momentum-shifting chess match of football at its finest. 
At no point during the evening did it seem either team was playing desperation, win-or-go-home football. It was every bit a match of wills as Kevin Miller coached the team to a second round playoff berth in Class 3A football.
Both teams had done their homework. Solon’s defense held the Washington Demons to 180 total yards of offense in the game, 116 of which came from the Demon’s sophomore quarterback Ryan Reighard rushing. Reighard was responsible for Washington’s two touchdowns.
The first score of the game did not come until well into the first quarter. Washington drew first blood with 1:05 left in the first after exchanging real estate with the Spartans. Reighard bounced off the Spartans and into the end zone on a 1-yard run putting the Demons ahead, 7-0.
It was a real estate exchange the rest of the half, with both teams pounding one another. Big hits and broken passes were the story the rest of the first half.
Sophomore Kendrick Harris, having seen limited use during the regular season, became Solon’s go-to back in the second half of the game and provided Solon’s first score of the game. With just 2:35 gone in the third quarter, on a 4-yard run, Harris evened the score at 7-7.
As Halston Durr congratulated Harris in the end zone, the Spartans began to show a spark, enthusiasm, that something missing from the week five meeting between the two teams.
The Demons retaliated, scoring again with 7:43 left in the third quarter to regain the lead. A 58-yard Reighard touchdown run seemed to shift the momentum in Washington’s favor, 14-7.
Uniforms soiled as the field deteriorated from the rains earlier in the day, both teams paid with the crunch of pads and the crack of helmets in the cold night air, but no one was willing to fork any ground until 1:26 remained in the game.
Solon quarterback Brandan Childs connected with Harris on a 39-yard pass that invigorated the Spartans and tied the score, 14-14.
The Demons attempted to steal the momentum on the next drive, but Washington lost possession of the football, and Reighard, to a broken arm.
Childs took a knee to end regulation play and send the game to overtime.
The Demons won possession of the football to open overtime play.
However, Solon’s Nato Christensen stole the momentum back intercepting the Demon sophomore quarterback Javionn Willis’ first varsity pass– the first pass he had thrown all season– in the end zone during Washington’s initial possession.
The Spartans got their opportunity, after a little celebration around Christensen, and the Demons defense, after three plays, had them facing a fourth down inside the 5-yard line.
Childs kicked his first field goal of the season, a game winner, splitting the goal posts.
Childs completed 6-17 passing for 87 yards, the longest the touchdown pass to Harris. He rushed 15 times for 48 yards, he kicked two extra points and the game-winning field goal.
Harris carried the ball 12 times for 50 yards, scoring a touchdown, and received the ball once for 38 yards and a touchdown. Spencer Lawson carried the ball eight times for 36 yards, amassed four solo tackles and two assists that included two sacks for loss on defense. Graeson Dall and Trevor Nelson both had three carries for 4 and 9 yards respectively, and Dall grabbed three passes for 18 yards. Nato Christensen ran three times for 4 yards and pulled in one pass for 7 yards, adding a tackle and assist on defense as well.
It was a night of defense as Tyler Linderbaum recorded five solo tackles, one a solo sack, and seven assists. Nelson wrestled down six solo tackles, one a solo sack, and five assists. Bo Black wrapped up five tackles and four assists, Tanner Wymer pursued for four tackles and two assists, Halston Durr ran down three solo tackles and an assist, Cameron McNutt and Cole Fritz each had two solo tackles, Fritz had an assist, and Austin Kennedy and Zach Melchert each recorded a solo tackle.
Childs’ kick booted the Spartans over the Demons and into the second round of the 3A playoffs in Manchester on Nov. 2.
The second round pitted Solon against West Delaware on Nov. 2 in Manchester. West Delaware defeated Benton 41-3 on Oct. 28 to remain undefeated this season.