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Solon wins district with 41-14 triumph over CPU

Spartans blow open game in second half

CENTER POINT– The Solon Spartan varsity football team captured the district championship with a 41-14 victory over the Center Point-Urbana (CPU) Stormin’ Pointers at Center Point on Friday night, Oct. 9.
The Stormin’ Pointers controlled the ball most of the first half, winning the time of possession game, but were unable to muster more than six points. The Solon offense scored only a touchdown in the first quarter, but revealed defensive stamina keeping CPU scoreless in the second quarter for a 7-6 halftime lead.
“That first half was a combination of things, I believe, and I'm sort of happy we had that honestly,” Head Coach Lucas Stanton explained. “I think we learned our lesson in how we need to respond after an emotional game. The previous week and game, I think, carried over a little bit for us. That's part of this group’s growing up and maturity this season. We have to learn to deal with success and move on each week. Going into the half there was no panic. We just needed to get our defense off the field more.”
At halftime, Stanton asked the team if they wanted to wake up Saturday morning as outright district champs with a bye week, or sharing a district title and going into a playoff game with a loss.
The Spartans’ offense stretched its legs in the third quarter, adding 21 points as the defense limited the Stormin’ Pointers to just eight points, with a 28-14 lead entering the final quarter.
A win would grant the Spartans the Class 2A District 6 Championship.
The offense and defense for Solon put in the work to guarantee it, not allowing CPU to add another point and delivering 13 more points to seal the championship and deliver the Stormin’ Pointers their fourth loss of the season.
“The second half was really more of us getting to do what we do,” Coach Stanton noted. “We were able to get to some of the plays we expected would be successful and were able to take some shots down the field in the pass game, as well as throw some short stuff to our guys in space.”
Solon quarterback sophomore Blake Timmons went 5-9 passing for 142 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, while rushing for 10 yards on seven carries.
Rushing duties were handled by just two Spartans, Jackson Ryan and Hayden Taylor, who amassed 223 of Solon’s 233-yard total. Ryan accumulated 147 yards on 15 carries, including three touchdowns and Taylor gained 76 yards on 11 touches with one TD.
The Stormin’ Pointers only produced 129 yards total rushing, searching frantically for some traction on 41 carries handled by six different running backs and their two quarterbacks.
Colton Hoffman, Carson Miller and Logan Sieverding added 142 total yards receiving on just five receptions for the Spartans for the win. Hoffman amassed 85 yards on two touchdown receptions, Miller added 47 on two catches and Sieverding reeled in a solo catch for 10 yards. The Spartans limited the Stormin’ Pointers to 129 total yards through the air on 15 receptions.
The most telling statistic in the game for the Spartans was total tackles. The Spartans nearly doubled the CPU’s production, recording 73.5 total tackles to the Stormin’ Pointers’ 34. Solon’s defense was responsible to 12 tackles for loss compared to CPU’s two.
“I was really proud of how the team responded to our challenge at halftime,” Coach Stanton reflected. “It started with our offense coming out right away and putting a nice drive together for a score. Our offensive line did a great job in the second half of establishing the line of scrimmage. I give a lot of credit to our quarterback (Timmons) for leading that offense. He stayed poised the whole game and did a good job managing the offense the second half.”
Hoffman also came up big in the second half with a couple of big-play catches, he said.
“That guy is always ready when we need him,” he continued. “Jackson and Hayden again ran hard and tough behind that line. Defensively, we just got ourselves off the field more in the second half, but again those guys accepted the challenge at halftime. Carson Shive and Ben Cusick did a good job getting us going in the second half. Jake Quillin came up with a big interception that led to a score.”
Lucas TePoel also intercepted a CPU pass.
The Spartans finished the regular season 5-2 overall and 5-0 in district play.
The Stormin’ Pointers fell to 3-4 for the regular season, 3-2 in district play.
Coach Stanton added perspective to the Spartans’ record and reflected on the regular season.
“Yeah, those two losses stung quite a bit and were not the way we wanted to start a season, but we couldn't dwell on them,” he observed. “It wasn't easy but we still had everything to play for and I'm really proud of our kids and coaching staff for sticking together.
The postseason commences Friday, Oct. 16, for the first round. Second round is Friday, Oct. 23, the third round is Friday, Oct. 30, and the semifinals and finals are scheduled for Nov. 12-14 and Nov. 19-20, respectively.
With every team eligible for the playoffs this season, Solon landed in the initial pairings in Pod 9 with a bye in the first round and plays on Friday, Oct. 23, against either Oelwein (2-5, 1-4) or South Tama County (3-4, 2-3).
The pairings will be reshuffled following the Oct. 23 games.
“We will take the bye week to get some guys as healthy as we can get them,” Coach Stanton commented. “Some guys may see very limited reps this week, so that we can get them healthy. Some guys who have been in a backup role or scout team this week may see more reps, which will really help with their development and our team depth.”
The Spartans took a week-four win at South Tama High School over the Trojans, 42-7, when both teams sat at 2-2 during the regular season.
“We won't spend a ton of time during the bye week worrying about who we might play, honestly,” the coach noted. “We are going to take this week to really get back to some basics and fundamentals and hone in on a few things we plan to improve on.”
Coach Stanton said the Spartans will be prepared for either team.
“We are going to focus on taking care of business against whoever and wherever we have to,” he said. “Yes, I am very excited to get started on the playoffs. Five-to-six months ago no one was really sure if we would even have a season, so I think we all should feel very fortunate and appreciative.”