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Solon takes control of District lead

Indians no match for Spartans, 43-7
Kendrick Harris looks for daylight ahead after taking the handoff from Cam Miller on Friday, Sept. 15, at Spartan Stadium when the Solon Spartans defeated the Washington Demons, 40-0. Harris carried the ball 29 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns against Oskaloosa Friday, Sept. 22. (photo by Jeff Hess)

OSKALOOSA– The Solon varsity football team set up Homecoming Week, Sept. 25-30, in grand fashion as the Spartans ruled the Oskaloosa Indians, 43-7, in dominant, defensive fashion Friday, Sept. 22, in Oskaloosa.
Solon sole possession of first place in Class 3A District 5 with staunch defensive and consistent offensive performances, handed the Oskaloosa only its second loss of the season.
“Feels great,” Solon Head Football Coach Kevin Miller said of the win. “We knew that the front half of our schedule was very demanding. Oskaloosa was a solid team and we, for the most part, controlled every phase of the game.”
Solon’s defense held the Indians’ senior quarterback, Seth Howard, to 14-27 passing for only 79 yards and held the running game to minus-4 yards, 75 total offensive yards. It was Oskaloosa’s lowest offensive performance this season and a season low for the Spartan defensive unit.
“We played great defense once again,” Miller said. “That’s very impressive considering that Oskaloosa has been very good offensively. We were extremely physical and played tough throughout the game.”
Solon scored early in the game, customary this season for the Spartans, posting 15 points in less than 10 minutes of the first quarter from a three-yard run by Kendrick Harris, capped by a Adam Bock run for a deuce; and a 75-yard reception by Bock, from quarterback Cam Miller, followed by a kick by Aidan Dall. Solon led, 15-0.
Solon extended its lead to 29-0 at the half on scores by Coal Flansburg, on a 2-yard run with Dall kicking the point-after, and Payton Bandy, who reeled in a four-yard pass from Miller with Dall again clearing the uprights for the point-after.
After the half, Oskaloosa attempted to answer, scoring on an 11-yard pass from Howard to Jarod Kruse. It was only the second time this season a competitor scored on the Solon defense. The Spartan defense has held all opponents this season to less than 250 yards per game.
However, Solon shut the Indians down the rest of the way, and scored with a three-yard run by Hunter Kula and another Dall kicked point-after. Solon led at the end of the third quarter, 36-7.
Harris scored again on a 3-yard run and another Dall point-after before the horn sounded for the 43-7 final
Cam Miller helmed the Spartans’ offensive performance once again, going 8-13 passing for 135 yards, with one interception and two touchdowns, the longest the 75-yard completion to Bock, and rushed three times for six yards.
Bock reeled in three of Miller’s passes, including the 75-yarder, for 99 total yards; Spencer Wegmann caught one for 13 yards; Bandy grabbed two, including his four-yard touchdown, for seven yards; and Ben Krutzfeldt and Harris each caught a pass for eight yards.
Rushing duties for the Spartans were handled by a host of usual suspects. Harris saddled the brunt of the duties, carrying the ball 29 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns, the longest the three-yard carry; Kula had 12 carries for 82 yards with the three-yard touchdown; Spencer Wegmann carried the ball once for 11 yards; and Flansburg had two attempts netting a yard and scored on his two-yard carry.
Holding Oskaloosa to 75 yards of total offense for the evening, the Spartan defense was led in tackles by Storm Scott with four solos; Spencer Wegmann racked up three solo tackles, all for losses; Harris also recorded three solo tackles; Ryan Geistkemper and Dillon Hoit recorded two solos and an assist apiece; Bock, Flansburg, Tyler Linderbaum and Jack Stahle recorded two tackles apiece, one of Linderbaum’s was for a loss; Jackson Pipolo collected a solo tackle and an assist; Zach Wegmann recorded a solo tackle; and Greg Brandt assisted on two.
Bock intercepted Howard once without return.
Dall was 5-5 on point-after attempts, while Bock kicked seven times for a total of 359 yards and punted once for 68 yards.
Bock and A.J. Coons handled punt return duties. Bock had one return for 52 yards and Coons handled two for five total yards.
Solon takes on the Fort Madison Bloodhounds on Friday, Sept. 29, at home, for Homecoming, with the Homecoming King to be crowned at halftime.
The Bloodhounds arrive at Solon on the heels of a 44-16 loss to Mount Pleasant, sitting at 3-2 on the season, 2-1 in 3A District 5 competition. Fort Madison’s junior quarterback Lennon Barker went 13-26 for 184 yards with a interception and a 11-yard passing touchdown, while the Bloodhound offense rushed for 194 yards, with senior Alex Gully rushing 33 times for 194 yards, in the loss. Fort Madison’s defense allowed Mount Pleasant to pass 20-32 for 281 yards for four touchdowns and rush for 178 yards and two touchdowns.
Fort Madison possesses wins against non-district competitors: Davis County, Bloomfield, 39-0, and Central Lee, Donnellson, 56-35.
Against other 3A District 5 competition, the Bloodhounds lost to Solon’s Sept. 22 opponent Oskaloosa, 58-14, where Fort Madison’s Barker was 16-31 for 237 yards with two interceptions and a four-yard touchdown, and the Indians were held to 54 yards rushing. Fort Madison’s defense gave up 290 yards in the air on 17 receptions and allowed 224 yards on the ground.
In their 21-17 win versus West Burlington Notre Dame, the Bloodhounds’ Barker passed 10-24 for 142 yards with a 34-yard touchdown and rushed for 131 yards. The Bloodhound defense allowed only one reception for 42 yards in the air and allowed Notre Dame to rush for 302 yards.
“Fort Madison is vastly improved from a year ago,” Miller said of his team’s next opponent. “Offensively they have some players that can make plays and defensively they play hard. We can’t have a let-down, we must focus on the process of improving.”
Coach Miller waxed further on challenges the staff needed to present the players in the final weeks of their District 5 opponents.
“We must present opportunities for our players to compete within a practice setting. We feel like we still have ample room to improve in nearly every aspect of the game. We certainly won’t overlook any of our opponents, but will put a premium on improving fundamentally.”
Asked about the influence the recent notoriety the Spartans received only allowing 14 points this season, Coach Miller responded, “We are strictly focused on our improvement as a team. As a staff, we can’t allow our players to become complacent. We must continue to strive at improving and competing in all phases of the game.”
Following Homecoming, the Spartans have one more away game on Friday, Oct. 6, at Mount Pleasant. The Spartans finish the regular season with two home games against West Burlington Notre Dame, on Oct. 13, and Fairfield, on Oct. 20. All regular season varsity football games are scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.