Your Prep Sports
SOLON – A lot of offense early and a big play on special teams in the middle gave Solon a lead in Friday night’s season opener with rival Mount Vernon.
The Spartans still needed a couple of late stops from its defense to hang on.
Solon stuffed Drew Adams on a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 play with 2:12 left and Jack Stahle picked off an Adams’ pass in the final seconds to help the Spartans escape with a 26-21 win over Mount Vernon in the season opener for both teams at Spartan Stadium.
Solon senior Trevor Nelson“When we need to stop them our intensity just increased so much,” Solon senior linebacker Trevor Nelson said. “Our intensity just flipped right there, the flip just turned and we knew we had it.”
Solon (1-0) built a 20-0 first-half lead and held on for its 15th straight win over its Highway 1 rival.
Few in the crowd of nearly 3,000 left before the final horn as defending 2A runner-up Mount Vernon (0-1) battled back.
Mount Vernon cut the lead to 26-21 when Adams threw his second touchdown pass of the game to Cale Snedden with 8:20 left.
The Solon defense never let them get any closer.
Mount Vernon had 221 of its 395 total yards in the second half, including 179 on the ground but could only muster 25 yards on its final two possessions as Solon closed the door.
“I was pleased with our kids and how they fought,” Solon coach Kevin Miller said. “They really dug in there in the fourth quarter and the end of the third quarter and we just found a way and that’s what good football teams do.”
Early on it didn’t look like Solon would be sweating in the fourth quarter.
The Spartans scored touchdowns on three consecutive first-half possessions to open up a 20-0 lead just more than 15 minutes into the game.
“I think we saw ourselves as kind of an underdog and I think they relished that role,” Miller said. “I think they have taken it kind of personal what happened last year when we didn’t compete at the level we want to and this group has worked really hard for the last eight or nine months.”
Graeson Dall started the scoring when he capped a six-play, 54-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run.
Solon forced Mount Vernon to go three-and-out on its next possession and then marched 41 yards, in seven plays to take a 13-0 lead.
Nelson snagged a Blayze Griffis pass and powered over a defender into the end zone to put the Spartans up 13-0 with 1:09 left in the first quarter.
Less than five minutes later Nelson made it 20-0 when he took a short pass from Griffis, turned it up field and went 40 yards for a score.
“I turned around and it was just green grass,” Nelson said. “I had to make one move and I did and it worked out for me.”
Mount Vernon cut the lead to 20-6 before the half when Adams connected with Snedden on a 63-yard scoring strike.
Solon appeared to take control of the game when Bo Black took the second half kickoff and raced 84 yards for a touchdown to put the Spartans up 26-6.
Mount Vernon had other ideas.
The Mustangs went 70 yards in 10 plays and cut the lead to 26-14 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Jack Cochrane.
Mount Vernon then made it 26-21 when Snedden hauled in a pass from Adams in the corner of the end zone with 8:20 to play.
Solon responded with a drive that didn’t produce points but took nearly five minutes off the clock.
The Spartans then handed the game over to its defense.
Solon stopped Adams just short of the line to gain on a quarterback sneak attempt at the Mount Vernon 40-yard line with 2:12 left.
Mount Vernon got the ball back at its own 30 with 29.3 seconds left but Stahle hauled in Adams desperation heave in the final seconds.
“Whenever you beat it a very good team like Mount Vernon it feels good,” Nelson said. “That’s the first game of the season and we are just going to build off that. We are just happy to get this win tonight.”
Kendrick Harris ran for 118 yards on 22 carries as Solon rushed for 137 yards.
Griffis threw for 169 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.
“We started off hot and then kind of plateaued but we got the job done,” Griffis said. “It’s big we have a lot of stuff to work on but coming away with a win was definitely important.”
Sam Moore ran for 130 yards to lead Mount Vernon while Cochrane added 62 yards on the ground and Adams ran for 61.
The junior quarterback also threw for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Solon Mount Vernon
First Downs 15 19
Rushes-Yards 31-137 49-257
Passing Yards 169 138
Total Yards 306 395
Comp-Att-Int 14-22-0 8-22-1
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 5-1
Penalties-Yards 10-95 6-60
Solon 13 7 6 0 – 26
Mount Vernon 0 6 8 7 – 21
SOL – Graeson Dall 5 run (Adam Bock kick)
SOL – Trevor Nelson 10 pass from Blayze Griffis (kick failed)
SOL – Nelson 40 pass from Griffis (Bock kick)
MV – Cale Snedden 63 pass from Drew Adams (kick blocked)
SOL – Bo Black 84 kick off return (kick failed)
MV – Jack Cochrane 1 run (Sam Moore run)
MV – Snedden 16 pass from Adams (Tyler Elliot kick)
Rushing – SOL: Kendrick Harris 22-118, Blayze Griffis 7-17, Graeson Dall 1-5, Team 1-(-3). MV: Sam Moore 17-130, Jack Cochrane 18-62, Drew Adams 11-61, Sale Snedden 2-21, Team 1-(-17). Passing – SOL: Blayze Griffis 14-22-0 169. MV: Drew Adams 8-22-1 138.
Receiving – SOL: Trevor Nelson 4-55, Graeson Dall 4-44, Kendrick Harris 2-17, Bo Black 2-8, Jacob Coons 1-23, Grant Goldsberry 1-22. MV: Jack Cochrane 4-47, Cale Snedden 2-79, Colden Clark 1-6, Jack Bootsmiller 1-6.