Week 9 Rewind: Efficient Griffis Leading Solon Offense
Solon senior Blayze GriffisBy Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
The stats for Blayze Griffis don’t jump off the page.
Griffis doesn’t rank among the state passing leaders or have a lofty touchdown total.
However, few quarterbacks can match the Solon senior when it comes to efficiency and consistency.
Griffis is completing 64 percent of his passes this season for seventh-ranked Solon (8-1) and has thrown for at least 140 yards in seven games after passing for 173 yards in the Spartans’ 54-14 win over Fairfield on Friday.
“He has done a great job of managing the game and just distributing the ball to our playmakers,” Solon coach Kevin Miller said of Griffis. “He has done good job of understanding what we are trying to offensively and then operating with the schemes we have in place and then leading our offense.”
Griffis has gotten better as the season has gone on.
The better the 6-1, 200-pound Griffis has been at quarterback the more productive the Spartans have been on offense.
Griffis is completing 70 percent of his passes during Solon’s current seven-game winning streak and has thrown for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns in each of those games.
During the winning steak Griffis is averaging 159 yards per game and has 16 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Behind the play of its senior quarterback Solon averaged 41 points and 369 yards of total offense in seven straight district wins.
“I feel like he is getting better with each week and it’s a confidence thing,” Miller said. “I feel like he is playing with a high level of confidence right now and when he is playing with confidence he certainly throws the ball well and does a better job of distributing the ball to the guys that we feel can make plays.”
Griffis has passed for 1,368 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season with just three interceptions.
He hasn’t thrown an interception since a week four win over Washington, a span of 22 quarters and 73 pass attempts.
Griffis has thrown 12 touchdown passes since his last interception and is coming off one of his best performances on Friday completing 7-of-11 passes for 173 yards and three scores.
“An important part of our offense is just putting our guys in positions to make plays and creating opportunities for them from the quarterback position,” Miller said. “He has done a really nice job of that as well as taking care of the football.”
Close call: One of the best seasons in Clear Creek Amana football history came to an end Friday with a win. The Clippers downed Central DeWitt 42-6 on Friday to improve to 7-2 but missed out on an at-large playoff berth in Class 3A.
Clear Creek Amana was one of five 7-2 teams state wide in all six classes not to make the playoffs. The Clippers opened the season 6-0 for the first time in program history and finished 5-2 in District play.
Closing in on 6,000: With 221 rushing yards on Friday West Branch senior Luke Lenoch took a big step toward state history.
Lenoch climbed to 15th on the state’s all-time rushing list and needs 94 yards to become the 14th player in state history to eclipse the 6,000-yard mark.
The 5-9, 185-pound senior set a single-season school record for carries in a season on Friday and has rushed for 1,722 yards and 29 touchdowns on 270 attempts this season.
Offensive player of the week: Lenoch had four touchdowns to go with his 221 yards on Friday that came on 32 carries in a 33-27 overtime loss to Clayton Ridge.
Lenoch had touchdown runs of 18, 11, 8 and 41 yards on Friday’s regular season finale.
Runner-up: The Clear Creek Amana backfield duo of Jared Eckrich and Matt Brimeyer rolled up a combined 293 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 42-6 win over Central DeWitt.
Eckrich ran for 157 yards and had scoring runs of 1, 20 and 4 yards while Brimeyer added 136 yards and a 13-yard touchdown run.
Defensive player of the week: West High senior Devontae Lane intercepted two passes, returning on 34 yards for a touchdown in a 64-14 win over Ottumwa.
Lane also rushed for 81 yards and three touchdowns on six carries and caught a 43-yard touchdown pass.
Runner-up: Regina senior Trae Rogers picked off a pair of passes, bringing his season total to six, as Regina downed Louisa-Muscatine 43-7.