Solon junior Kendrick HarrisRyan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – The Solon defense turned in its third consecutive dominating performance on Friday.
This time the Spartan offense was equally impressive.
Kendrick Harris ran for 182 yards and three touchdowns and Blayze Griffis threw for 150 yards and two scores as Class 3A ninth-ranked Solon (4-1) rolled up 444 yards of offense in a 34-3 homecoming win over Oskaloosa (3-2) at Spartan Stadium.
“I think the last three weeks we have been much more physical, we’ve controlled the line of scrimmage, we are tackling better in space and we are executing at a high level,” Solon coach Kevin Miller “And I think our offense is starting to find itself.”
Solon posted a shutout in its district opener against Keokuk on September 9th and returned two fourth-quarter interceptions for touchdowns in an upset of fourth-ranked Washington last week.
The Spartan defense was impressive again on Friday holding Oskaloosa to 165 total yards and forcing three turnovers while improving to 3-0 in 3A, District 5 play.
This week the offense wasn’t far behind as the Spartans ground out 294 yards rushing.
Harris scored on touchdown runs of 2, 54 and 12 yards and also caught a 22-yard touchdown pass as Solon scored 34 points or more for the third straight week.
“I think our offense took a step forward tonight,” Harris said. “The offensive line was getting a push and when Blayze threw the ball that opened everything up.”
With Solon ripping off chucks of yards on the ground, Griffis was nearly perfect through the air.
The senior quarterback completed his first eight passes and finished 9-of-10 for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
“Our offensive gave me a lot of protection and our receivers did a great job of getting open,” Griffis said. “Those guys made it easy on me.”
Solon didn’t need much time to get going on offense.
After going three-and-out on the opening possession of the game the Spartans scored touchdowns on four consecutive possessions to end the first half.
Solon rolled up 289 yards of offense, 181 on the ground and 108 through the air, in the first half while taking a 28-3 lead.
Solon senior Blayze Griffis“I thought we did a nice job of mixing the run and pass,” Miller said. “Blayze did a good job again of finding open receivers, managing the game and just distributing the football. That is what we need him to do is manage a game and get the ball to guys who can make plays and that was the case.”
The Solon defense helped the Spartans take an early lead setting up the first two touchdowns with turnovers.
Solon marched 62 yards in nine plays after a Trevor Nelson fumble recovery, taking a 7-0 lead when Harris hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass from Blayze Griffis with 3:55 left in the first quarter.
The defense got the ball back quickly when Graeson Dall picked off an Ethan Arnold pass on the ensuing Oskaloosa drive.
Playing with a large cast on his right hand to protect a broken bone, Dall bobbled the ball momentarily before securing the interception and returning it to the Spartan 49 yard line.
“I knew for a fact I wasn’t going to drop it,” Dall said. “I had it and then I turned and it kind of bounced off my shoulder pad but I knew I had it.”
On the first play following the Dall interception, Griffis hit a wide open Jacob Coons down the middle of the field for a 51-yard touchdown and a 13-0 Solon lead.
“I think that was the game changer,” Dall said. “Once we got our momentum going there was no stopping us.”
Solon was just getting warmed up.
The Spartans closed the first half with back-to-back scoring drives of over 80-yards both ending with Harris scoring runs.
Harris capped a 14-play, 85-yard march that featured a pair of fourth down conversions with a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 Solon.
His 54-yard touchdown run capped a 5-play, 84-yard march that took just 2:21.
Harris broke a pair of tackles and outran the Indian secondary down the sideline to give Solon a 28-0 lead with 55 seconds left in the opening half.
“That was demoralizing for them,” Harris said. “That got us more momentum and just carried us all the way through the game.”
Oskaloosa never challenged in the second half.
Harris capped the scoring with a 12-yard scoring burst with 4:42 left.
“I thought we were physical once again and controlled the line of scrimmage both offensively and defensively,” Miller said. “That is something we have really hung our hat on is being more physical and that has certainly been the case the past few weeks.”
First Downs 19 14
Rushes-Yards 49-294 27-103
Passing Yards 150 62
Total Yards 444 165
Comp-Att-Int 9-10-0 10-25-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 3-2
Penalties-Yards 7-65 3-30
Oskaloosa 0 3 0 0 – 3
Solon 13 15 0 6 – 34
SOL – Kendrick Harris 22 pass from Blayze Griffis (Anthony Bullard kick)
SOL – Jacob Coons 51 pass from Griffis (Kick failed)
SOL – Harris 2 run (Dall run)
SOL – Harris 54 run (Bullard kick)
OSK – Aaron Blom 45 field goal
SOL – Harris 12 run (Kick failed)
Rushing – SOL: Kendrick Harris 25-182, Trevor Nelson 4-43, Blayze Griffis 10-29, Payton Bandy 2-15, Graeson Dall 3-8, Bo Black 1-8, Bryce West 3-6, Spencer Wegmann 1-3. OSK: Ethan Arnold 15-45, Blake Allsup 5-29, Casey Hill 5-25, Cole Henry 1-5, Bennett Spry 1-(-1).
Passing – SOL: Blayze Griffis 9-10-0 150. OSK: Ethan Arnold 9-24-1 62, Cole Henry 1-2-0 0.
Receiving – SOL: Jacob Coons 3-78, Kendrick Harris 2-36, Grant Goldsberry 2-16, Trevor Nelson 1-17, Graeson Dall 1-3. OSK: Tanner DeKock 5-40, Bennett Spry 2-7, Jarad Kruse 1-8, Ethan Kelderman 1-7, Casey Hill 1-0.