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Solon smothers Bloodhounds, 62-0

Ft. Madison dominated by Spartans in Homecoming rout
Solon’s Payton Bandy dodges a Bloodhound, getting ahead of his blockers during the Spartans’ 62-0 waxing of Fort Madison during Homecoming on Friday, Sept. 29, at Spartan Stadium. (photo by Jeff Hess)

SOLON– Sixty-two unanswered points later, the top-ranked Solon Spartans have outscored their 2017 season opponents 244-14.
In their fourth shut out of the season, Solon’s varsity football squad smothered the Fort Madison Bloodhounds, 62-0, on Friday, Sept. 29.
The Spartan defense blanketed the Bloodhounds most of the game, holding Fort Madison quarterbacks Lennon Barker and Will Larson to a total of 6-21 passing combined for 17 total yards and intercepting them a total of three times. Solon’s defensive juggernaut denied the Bloodhounds’ ground game, allowing only 64 yards on 28 carries.
In a veritable tour dé force Homecoming performance, the Spartans were stopped only once by the Bloodhounds, on their second possession of the game. As with many of this season’s games, Solon scored quickly and this time, often, activating the continuous clock at the start of the second half. The Spartans posted 21 points in the first quarter, 27 points in the second quarter (an average of two points per minute of game play in the first half) and seven in each the third and fourth quarter.
Payton Bandy was the first Spartan into the end zone, a little under four minutes into the game, the recipient of a 14-yard pass from Cam Miller after battling a Bloodhound defender in the air to reel it in. Capped by an Aidan Dall point-after, the Spartans were up, 7-0.
Kendrick Harris took a 5-yard hike into the end zone for Solon and Dall again split the uprights to make the score 14-0. Bandy grabbed another Cam Miller 40-yard pass and Dall posted another point-after to extend the Spartan lead to 21-0 in the first quarter.
Harris’ number was called again to start the Spartan scoring in the second quarter and he pounded down the field 41 yards for a touchdown, allowing Dall another opportunity to split the posts, and Solon led, 28-0.
Junior Hunter Kula was called upon next, diving between defenders to score on a 1-yard run. This time the kick sailed wide, and Solon led, 34-0.
The aptly-dubbed sophomore connection provided some entertainment in the second quarter. A.J. Coons snatched a Miller pass– dodging, ducking and weaving his way to score on a 54-yard reception. Dall added the cherry and Solon’s lead extended to 41-0.
Junior safety Dillon Hoit delivered the Spartans’ fifth defensive touchdown of the season on a 35-yard pick-six, bringing the Solon Homecoming crowd to its feet with a little under 3:30 remaining in the half. Dall’s point-after made the score 48-0 and the Solon cheerleaders took to jumping jacks, rather than pushups, to count off the score for the spirited student section.
Following the marching band’s halftime performance, The Homecoming Queen contenders were introduced and Homecoming King Nick Radcliffe was joined by his Queen Ellen Cross, following the announcers’ dramatic pause.
The Spartans and Bloodhounds returned the to the field and the clock ran continuously, interrupted only to reset the field and for the break between quarters as Solon’s starters sat the second half.
Junior quarterback Ben Krutzfeldt connected with Colton Spillman on a 33-yard pass play for a score and Alex Allen put a point-after through to add seven for the Spartans in the third, 55-0.
Krutzfeldt called his own number in the fourth dashing into the end zone for the final score as Solon shellacked the Bloodhounds, 62-0.
Quarterback Cam Miller was 5-12 passing for the evening amassing 145 yards with no interceptions and three touchdowns, the longest the 54-yarder. Ben Krutzfeldt was 1-1 passing for 33 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.
Bandy was the recipient of three receptions for a total of 75 yards with two for touchdowns. Coons had the one for a touchdown and Bock and Spillman each had one catch for 16 and the 54-yard touchdown, respectively.
Harris carried the ball 10 times for a total of 90 yards and his two touchdowns. Kula rushed 11 times for 77 yards and one touchdown. Junior Mason Stahle handled the ball six times for nine yards, sophomore Seamus Poynton had his number called twice carrying the ball for nine total yards and Krutzfeldt carried the ball five times for a total of –2 total yards, including his 1-yard touchdown scramble.
Junior Clay Gerdin led Solon’s defensive, amassing 12 solo tackles and one assist, sacking the Bloodhounds’ quarterback once for a loss. Adam Bock recorded two solo tackles and assisted on seven; Coal Flansburg had two solos and six assists; Mason Stahle collected three solo tackles and two assists; Ethan Kochanny had two solos and an assist with one of the solos for a loss; Ryan Geistkemper had one solo and three assists; Hunter Brown wrapped up one tackle and two assists; Jerod Hilton and Jack Stahle both recorded one solo and one assist apiece; Tyler Linderbaum racked up three assists; Krutzfeldt and Spillman each recorded one solo; Greg Brandt, Chase Gehrke, and Zach Wegmann collected two assists apiece; and Aidan Dall, Harris, Dillon Hoit, Ben McAtee and Spencer Wegmann assisted on a tackle apiece.
Jerod Hilton intercepted the Bloodhounds once, returning it for seven yards, and Hoit recorded the interception he returned 35 yards for a score.
The Spartans forced Fort Madison to mishandle the ball a total of six times and Brown, Gehrke and Linderbaum each recovered a fumble for no gain.
Allen was perfect, 2-2, in point-after attempts (PATs) and kicked off twice for 60 yards. Bock went 6-7 on PATs, kicked off eight times for 441 total yards with two touchbacks, and punted twice for a total of 100 yards, the longest for 57 yards.
Flansburg returned one kickoff 20 yards.
The Spartans moved to 6-0 on the season and remain atop Class 3A District 5 at 4-0 in district play.
“Coming into the game we talked about making a statement. Through our physical play and overall execution, I felt we made the statement we wanted to make. We pretty much controlled every aspect of the game and that’s satisfying for (the) entire staff to witness,” Coach Kevin Miller commented. “Lastly, all of the players were able to contribute in some capacity to the outcome of the game, and the players were celebrating the success of other teammates.”
Miller expounded when asked about the camaraderie evident on the sidelines this season. “This group really cares about each other and genuinely celebrates the individual successes players experience,” he said. “Thus far as a staff, we’ve enjoyed the process of watching this team come together.”
Asked if he would like to recognize any performances specifically, Miller highlighted his seniors. “As a whole, the seniors have done a tremendous job leading our football team,” he noted. “I’ve witnessed significant growth in many players throughout the course of the season. Tyler Linderbaum and Zach Wegmann have served as great vocal leaders for this group and the players respect each other which has allowed our team to truly grow.”
When asked to comment about the recent prognostications by sports columnists regarding the postseason, Miller passed.
“We don’t put a lot of emphasis on the opinion of others,” he said. “We focus on the elements that will allow us to improve individually and collectively as a team. Throughout the season, the focus has been our growth and development as a team. We haven’t become fixated on who we’re playing.”
The Spartans take to the road, the last time during the regular season, on Friday, Oct. 6, traveling to Mount Pleasant to face the Panthers with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
The Panthers are 4-2 on the season and 2-2 in District 5 play. With non-district wins over Clear Creek Amana (14-7) and Mediapolis (37-7), they dropped their first two district games to Washington (16-14) and Oskaloosa (35-14) then posted wins over Fort Madison, 44-16, completing 20-32 passing for 281 yards with four touchdowns, the longest a 55-yard reception, and rushed for 178 yards on 35 carries. The Panthers’ defense held the Bloodhounds to 13-26 passing for 184 yards, with one interception, allowed only one passing touchdown and 194 rushing yards on 43 carries.
The Panthers also defeated West Burlington Notre Dame, 14-3, with an offensive performance including 16-23 passing for 187 yards with one 49-yard touchdown through the air, and rushing 29 times to post a total of 97 yards with one 1-yard touchdown on the ground.
Solon meets West Burlington Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, at home.
Miller offered his assessment of the season’s last road game.
“Mount Pleasant traditionally has been a very strong program,” he said. “They have been solid on defense this season and have a quality quarterback that can make plays in the pocket or out in space. Mount Pleasant typically plays us tough and physical. We must be prepared for a physical battle, we have to come out of the gate and establish our physical style.”
The Spartans’ last regular season game is Friday, Oct. 20, against Fairfield with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.