SOLON– There will be no fifth consecutive championship for Solon.
The sixth-ranked Spartans lost to Union of LaPorte City 39-24 in a second-round football playoff game Monday night in Solon.
The Spartan defense, stalwart all season, could not stop the Knights and their senior running back Wes Burnside.
Burnside carried the ball over 30 times for almost 200 yards against Solon.
The defending 3A champions fell into a 19-7 hole in the first half and Union scored on its first two possessions in the third quarter to put the game just out of reach for Solon.
The Spartans, however, didn’t quit.
Solon took the opening possession of the fourth quarter and moved the ball quickly into Union territory.
Back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the Union Knights gave the Spartans 30 extra yards after a 50-yard pass completion to Rory Siddell, and that was enough to fuel a 4-yard run by Cody Fritz to get back into the game, 31-17.
But Solon needed to force the Knights’ offense off the field and Solon couldn’t make that happen until four-and-a-half minutes remained in the game.
The Spartans pulled within a touchdown with just over two minutes to play, thanks to a 5-yard touchdown run by J.J. Hanus.
But the onside kick was unsuccessful, and the Knights scored on a 54-yard quarterback draw on a third down conversion near midfield to stretch the lead back to two touchdowns.
The Spartans finished the season at 9-2.