SOLON– It was just what Solon needed going into the playoffs.
The Spartan varsity football team ran a continuous clock for a quick finish against visiting Benton Community, 63-0, to cap off the regular season Friday evening.
But now the attention turns to the Class 3A postseason football tournament, and for Solon that means a speedy turnaround for a first round meeting with Crestwood-Cresco (4-5) Wednesday, Oct. 24. Crestwood has wins against Oelwein, Western Dubuque, Independence and Vinton-Shellsburg, and is led by senior quarterback Kolter Friedhof. Friedhof is the team’s third leading rusher and has thrown for over 1,200 yards this season. He’s also collected three interceptions on the defensive side. Crestwood finished third in Class 3A District 6.
“We are looking forward to the playoffs knowing that we still haven’t played our best football,” noted Solon coach Kevin Miller. “However, I feel that we are starting to really put things together and we are beginning to gel at the right time.”
If Solon advances, its second round opponent next Monday (Oct. 29) may well be 9-0 Decorah, which will square off against Maquoketa in the first round.
“If you hope to advance in the playoffs you must be peaking at the right time and I feel that we are on the verge of doing just that,” Miller said.
Playing error-free against Benton Community Friday night may go a ways in helping that happen.
“It was a great way to finish the regular season. Our players did a great job of executing and playing physical,” Miller said. “In fact, it was probably our most complete game to date. We didn’t have a turnover and did a tremendous job of playing fundamental football.”
Nine different Spartans scored points in the game, including a 5-yard interception return by junior lineman Dalton Ferguson. Senior quarterback Rory Siddell accounted for two rushing touchdowns (one for 52 yards), as did senior running back Aaron Shulista (on two of his three carries). Siddell was the leading rusher with 81 yards on only six carries. Tim Lance added 53 yards and a score; Jordan Wymer had 42 yards on two carries, with one a 3-yard touchdown.
Siddell was a perfect 7-7 through the air for 137 yards and a single 42-yard touchdown to Nathan Hawkins. Chris McNutt had 40 yards on two receptions and Austin Miller had two catches for 24 yards.
The Spartans had 392 total yards of offense, 255 on the ground.
Meanwhile, the Solon defense held Benton Community scoreless, and limited the Bobcats to 146 total yards. Benton rushed the ball 43 times for 120 yards, while quarterback Noah Fisher completed only two passes for 26 yards.
Connor Wiseman led the Spartans with seven tackles, while Danny Whitmore had two sacks. Cam Adams and Eli DeWitt also were credited with solo sacks.