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Big plays in big win for Spartans

Solon clobbers CCA 42-7 for Homecoming victory
Junior Brandon Kramer runs through a big hole Friday night against Clear Creek Amana. Kramer opened the game with a 76-yard touchdown run on Solon’s second offensive play. (photos by Doug Lindner)

SOLON– It was a good start.
Brandon Kramer took the handoff and ran 76 yards on Solon’s second play of the game against Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Friday night.
Just like that, it was 7-0 Spartans and the tone was set for the rest of the game.
Solon added a sprinkling of breakout plays to solid performances by the offense and defense, a recipe for a 42-7 Homecoming victory over the Clippers.
“Our plan was to simply improve in every phase of the game,” said head coach Kevin Miller. “We did a much better job of executing on offense and defensively we were very sound.”
Solon built a 21-0 lead in the first half and led 35-0 by halftime.
On CCA’s second possession, senior Nathan Hawkins intercepted CCA’s Tanner Bandy, setting up Solon on the CCA 33-yard line.
After a Jacob Black run for a first down, Black hooked up with Hawkins in the right flat and Hawkins knifed through the Clipper secondary and leapt for the end zone pylon and a 22-yard touchdown.
“We have the type of athletes to make big plays,” Miller said. “If we execute, we are truly capable of making a big play at any time.”
Senior Jordan Wymer ripped a big gainer to set up Solon’s third score, a 6-yard touchdown run by Kramer, and the Spartans enjoyed a 21-0 advantage with a minute left in the first quarter.
Wymer’s punt return set up another touchdown early in the second quarter, one which featured a steady diet of Wymer running up the gut, including a 20-yard touchdown.
Solon’s defense was stout throughout, although CCA running back Jonathon Nzombo threatened to set the Clipper offense on fire.
“Nzombo is a very good player and we were aware of where he was at all times,” Miller said. “Additionally, we had to contain their quarterback (Tanner Bandy) because he had proven that he can make big plays.”
But CCA could not string together an offensive drive.
After a Nzombo screen pass put the Clippers near midfield, the drive stalled and a short punt gave the Spartans the ball back at their own 43.
CCA did little to help itself, muffing kickoff returns and shooting themselves in the foot with penalties, like the one that negated a 37-yard kickoff return by Nzombo in the second quarter. The Clippers rebounded and put together to first downs, but Solon’s defense shut down the drive and a botched punt gave the Spartans a first and goal at the CCA 9-yard line.
That led to a fourth and goal at the 1-yard line which found the entire Spartan offense pushing Wymer into the end zone for a 35-0 halftime lead and a continuous clock in the second half.
Senior Seth Phillips intercepted Bandy again to open the third quarter, taking the ball 26 yards for a pick-six and a 42-0 lead.
The Clippers did not score until the fourth quarter when Bandy scored on a 34-yard scamper.
“I thought we played with a lot more energy than any other game this year and I really believe that is why we played so well,” said coach Miller. “The players just relaxed and had fun and when they perform with that mindset they compete at a higher level.”
Miller said the highlight of the game was being able to get all of his players on the field after the game was well in hand. “I thoroughly enjoy watching all of our players compete,” he said.
The Spartans head to Central DeWitt Friday to face the Sabres in a Class 3A District 6 matchup. The Sabres are currently 1-3, notching their first win of the season Friday with a 46-20 victory over Benton Community. The Spartans moved to 3-1 with the win over CCA, 1-0 in conference play.