SOLON– Solon put the hurt on the West Delaware Hawks Monday night, setting up a date with No. 1 Decorah Friday, Nov. 8, in a Class 3A football quarterfinal at a site yet to be announced.
In a physically dominating performance, Solon defeated West Delaware 49-20 in a second round match-up that saw the Spartans leading 35-0 at half.
Both the Hawks and the Spartans came into the game ranked and with 9-1 records, but Solon controlled the game from the onset, blocking a punt, knocking out the West Delaware quarterback and putting the clamps on one of the leading rushers in the state.
Last Wednesday (Oct. 30), the Spartans had three 100-yard rushers in a 35-14 first-round win over the Western Dubuque Bobcats.
Brandon Kramer (166), Jacob Black (122) and Jordan Wymer (114) helped combine for 413 yards rushing against the Bobcats.
The Spartans rolled up nearly 500 total yards of offense, with Black going 4-9 for 82 yards, most of it after connecting with Wymer in the flat for a 52-yard pass play to at the end of the first quarter.
That gave Solon a 14-7 lead after a bit of a shaky start.
Solon blocked a Bobcat punt and were set up at the Western Dubuque 18-yard line, when a Jacob Black pass was tipped and picked off by the Bobcats’ Andrew Meyer, who returned it all the way to the Solon 23.
Wymer returned the favor, picking off a halfback pass attempt by Ben Burds at the Solon 5.
The Spartans marched down the field and Black scored on a 38-yard run to give Solon the lead.
Western Dubuque responded after the Spartans lost a fumbled punt at their own 36-yard line. Dylan Gansen broke it open for a 29-yard touchdown to tie the game.
“Unfortunately we had a couple of turnovers early in the game that really allowed Western Dubuque to gain confidence early,” said head coach Kevin Miller. “Football is an emotional sport and you try to keep your emotions in check but it can be difficult at times. As a coach, you continue to stress the importance of playing poised and confident.”
From there, however, Solon dominated the game offensively, defensively and on special teams.
Black scored in the second quarter on a 33-yard run, and Wymer scored again with 1:43 remaining in the second quarter on a 31-yard run to give Solon a 28-7 lead at the half.
We rushed the football very effectively,” said head coach Kevin Miller. “Much credit needs to go to the offensive line. They did a tremendous job of opening holes and sustaining blocks. Additionally, the backs did a great job of reading the line’s blocks and then exploding through the holes that were generated.”
Much of the third quarter was played between the 20s, but Wymer broke a 47-yard run to the Bobcat 2 midway through the fourth quarter and then punched it in for a touchdown on the next play. That gave Solon a 35-7 lead, because Solon’s defense had held the Bobcats offense in check since the first quarter score.
While Western Dubuque generated 202 yards of total offense, a lot of it came in the fourth quarter after some liberal substitutions.
“I thought the defense settled in after the first score and did a tremendous job,” Miller said. “We know if we hope to continue in the playoffs, it’s going to start with our defense. Defense wins championships and we know that we are going to be challenged in every game from here on out.”