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Spartans shut out Regals, 33-0

Kula rushes for 206 yards
Hunter Kula clutches the ball following Joe Kral into the fray during the Spartans’ 33-0 triumph over rival Iowa City Regina on Friday, Sept. 1, at Spartan Stadium during Armed Forces Night. Kula carried the ball for 206 rushing yards during the win.

SOLON– In an evening filled with patriotism and Spartan pride, the Spartans routed the Iowa City Regina Regals, 33-0, on Friday, Sept. 1. The student section was awash in star-spangled splendor and the Solon American Legion presented the colors before the crowd.
It was Armed Forces Night at Spartan Stadium on Friday, Sept. 1, as the Regals came to town in hopes of defeating the Solon Spartans and getting into the win column in the 2017 season after a week-one loss to Cedar Rapids Xavier, 23-6.
The Spartans dashed those hopes.
For the last two weeks, a machine shed south of Solon read, “Teamwork makes the dream work” and “Take down the crown,” and no greater testament to the Spartans’ 2-0 record this season could be made.
But at the end of the first quarter, it was a scoreless stalemate.
The belief it would be a defensive struggle in the making was squashed with a 27-point second quarter.
The Spartans hammered the Regals’ defense, weakening it, and finally drawing first blood. A 74-yard yard drive culminating in a 18-yard scramble by Hunter Kula for a touchdown, the first of two on the evening, followed by Adam Bock splitting the uprights to take the lead, 7-0.
The second score of the quarter came from a 76-yard drive during which the Spartans converted two fourth downs. A 2-yard swing pass reception by Coal Flansburg, capped by another Adam Bock point-after, put the Spartans up, 14-0.
On the first play following the kickoff, Jack Stahle deflected a Regina pass by Michael Conlon and Adam Bock intercepted the throw for a 28-yard pick-six to electrify the Spartan faithful. Unfortunately, the point-after failed, and Solon lead, 20-0.
Kula, who amassed 206 yards rushing during the evening, found a hole provided by the offensive line roughly 30 seconds before the close of the half and broke into stride for 79 yards, and another touchdown celebration was capped by an Adam Bock kick. Solon went to the locker room, at the half, leading, 27-0.
The third quarter provided a scoring goose egg for both teams.
The Spartans added their final entry on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter when Ben Krutzfeldt reeled in a 13-yard pass from Cam Miller. The point-after failed, but the Spartans had put a bow on the evening.
As the buzzer sounded with the Regals allowing the clock to expire, the patriotically-adorned student section flowed onto the field joining the team, following the handshakes, to share in the celebration of the win.
Cam Miller once again helmed the offense, turning in a solid performance, completing seven of 15 passes for 126 yards, with two touchdown passes, the longest for 13 yards, while calling his own number nine times, collecting 54 yards on the ground.
Adam Bock was the recipient of three of Miller’s tosses for a total of 17 yards and rushed four times for the Spartans, collecting 12 yards.
Krutzfeldt pulled in four catches accumulating 107 yards and one touchdown.
Flansburg snatched his one pass for two yards and a touchdown.
Deemed the “Hunter Kula Show” on KCRG’s “Friday Night Lights,” Kula’s evening could easily have been stymied had he not recovered from an early turnover or had he not weathered concerns regarding an ankle injury, subsequently re-taped on the sidelines. Kula persevered, spearheading the Solon battering ram of rushing offense, called upon 24 times and carrying the ball for 206 yards for two touchdowns, his longest the 79-yard carry. With Cam Miller and Adam Bock’s carries, the Spartan rushing assault was accentuated with Mason Stahle’s four touches for 7 yards.
“I just trusted my line to block for me, I just saw the giant hole and just cut it right up the gut and it worked out for us. I’m very proud of them,” Kula said after the game.
“If we keep playing like this I think we’re going to go undefeated,” Kula said. “I trust our line to do good and I trust our defense. Our defense is locked down.”
The defense was led by Ryan Geistkemper who had three solo tackles and five assists; Tyler Linderbaum blocked two punts– one of which he recovered for no gain– wrangled one solo tackle and assisted on seven; Matt Folkerts had three solo tackles and three assists; Dillon Hoit had two solo tackles and two assists; Spencer Wegmann had two solos and two assists; Flansburg with one solo and two assists; Storm Scott had one solo and one assist; Stahle bull dogged one solo tackle; Mason Stahle assisted twice; and Kale Altman, Hunter Brown, Chase Gehrke, Jerrod Hilton and Joe Kral assisted on one tackle apiece.
Bock also racked up three solo tackles, three assists, one interception– which he returned 32 yards for a touchdown– went 3-4 in point-after attempts, kicked off six times for 317 yards total, and punted once for 30 yards.
A.J. Coons returned three of Regina’s punts for 22 total yards.
The Spartans moved to 2-0 on the season.
When asked what his biggest concerns were entering the evening’s match up with Regina, Miller responded,
“We were extremely concerned with the Regals,” Solon Head Coach Kevin Miller said of the perennial matchup. “We believed that they had the personnel to make big plays on offense, and defensively they were tough and physical. I really liked our game plan going into the contest, we had made some offensive adjustments throughout the week and defensively we matched up well with what they wanted to do offensively.”
When asked to comment on Kula’s and Cam Miller’s performances, he answered, “Hunter and Cam performed well, but the offensive line was outstanding and afforded Cam ample time to throw and Hunter with running lanes inside. We feel that we have several key players that can make significant contributions at any given time, it just happened to be a night where both took advantage of the opportunities they were presented with.”
Coming into the season, Miller said he felt Solon’s defense had the potential to be special, with sufficient size up front to control the line of scrimmage.
“As a staff, we believe that if you win the battle in the trenches and your special teams are solid, you put yourself in a very good position to win the game,” he added.
While his team has played well to start the season, Miller said there is still plenty of room for improvement.
“We won’t take any opponents for granted, but recognize that Washington and Oskaloosa loom in the very near future,” Miller said.
The Spartans will next travel to Keokuk to face the Chiefs Friday, Sept. 8.
“Keokuk will give us a lot to prepare for, we have to be ready for the various sets and wide array of plays they will throw at us,” Miller said. “We simply need to improve fundamentally in all areas of the game if we want to get where I think we are capable of going.”
Keokuk suffered two losses to start the season, losing on the road, 21-14, to Central Lee and at home, 21-7, to Chariton. In the loss to Central Lee, Keokuk was 5-21 passing for 104 yards with two interceptions and one receiving touchdown and rushed for 92 total yards and one touchdown.
Solon returns home to face district rival Washington on Friday, Sept. 15. The Spartans pack their bags for Oskaloosa on Friday, Sept. 22, and return home Friday, Sept. 29, to battle Fort Madison. Mount Pleasant will mark Solon’s last regular season away game Friday, Oct. 6, and the Spartans finish regular season play at home the final two weeks, with Friday games on Oct. 13 against West Burlington Notre Dame and against Fairfield on Oct. 20.