SOLON– Now that’s trust.
Up by a single touchdown and facing fourth down and 13 from their own 17-yard line, the Solon Spartans attempted a fake punt. Junior Rory Siddell took the snap and mailed a pass 25 yards to senior Cody Fritz.
Fritz leapt high, curling his body backward and extending his right arm. It was just a few inches too high.
The visiting Benton Community Bobcats now had the ball deep in Solon territory, and moments later were at the Solon 7 with first down and goal to go.
The Solon defense, however, had earned the confidence displayed by their coaches.
The Spartans forced and recovered a Bobcat fumble, and later in the second quarter sparked the offense, which rattled off three touchdowns in five minutes to take over the Homecoming game and seal a 36-7 victory.
After the Spartan fumble recovery, the offense was still having some trouble moving the ball, and a three-and-out gave Benton Community excellent field position at the Solon 37.
But a sack by Jake Morris moved the Bobcats back near midfield and forced them to punt.
Austin Dall fielded the punt inside the Solon 10 and a blistering block by Jay Pike gave him room to maneuver out to the 20.
Suddenly, the Solon offense began to breathe. Ground gains by Andy Klouda and quarterback J. J. Hanus and a pass from Hanus to Siddell pushed the Spartans into Benton Community’s half of the field.
Then came a big sweep, with Hanus swinging toward the Spartan sidelines with Dalton Ferguson, Skyler Rath and Fritz leading the way. Forty yards later Hanus was in the end zone and Solon had a 15-0 lead.
Another Bobcat fumble led to a Klouda touchdown about two minutes later.
Pinned against their own end zone, Benton Community had to punt it away and the Spartans took advantage when Hanus and Siddell connected on a slant pattern and Siddell broke loose to just short of the goal line. Fritz pounded it in and with a half-minute left in the second quarter, Solon was up 29-0.
Solon added another score early in the third quarter to set the continuous clock in motion and the second half moved quickly.
Benton Community was able to finish a drive with less than a minute left in the game to give the Bobcats their only points of the night.
Solon’s defense allowed 167 total yards on the night, a portion of it coming against reserves late in the game. The Spartans gave up 97 yards on the ground and 70 through the air.
Cody Fritz and Austin Holub each had seven solo tackles, while Jay Pike had six. Holub, Ferguson and Jake Morris each recovered a fumble.
On the offensive side, Solon netted 307 yards, 220 on the ground. This time, Fritz was the leading rusher with 87 yards on 16 carries. Hanus only had to run with the ball five times to get his 57 yards, most of it coming on his touchdown run. Andy Klouda added 47 yards on six carries; Tim Lance added 19 yards and the Spartans’ first score in the first quarter.
Hanus was 6-9 passing for 87 yards, including two to Siddell for 53 yards.
The Spartans travel to Tiffin Friday, Sept. 16, in an attempt to spoil Clear Creek Amana’s homecoming.