Your Prep Sports
WAUKON – During a seven-game winning streak that sent Solon to the 2A quarterfinals the Spartans relied on a power running game and a stout defense.
Fifth-ranked Waukon beat the Spartans at their own game on Friday.
Waukon (8-1) limited Solon to 113 total yards while holding the Spartans without an offensive touchdown in a 24-8 win in a 2A quarterfinal in a windy night at Waukon.
“We really rebounded from our early season losses and that says a lot about our kids,” Stanton said. “Those seniors really hunkered down and decided we were going to make a run and we did we just ran into a really good team.”
Senior tailback Ethan O’Neill rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns as defending 2A runner-up Waukon returned to the UNI-Dome for the fourth straight season.
Waukon will face Prairie City-Monroe (10-0) in the 2A semifinals on November 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
Seventh-ranked Solon (7-3) had season low outputs in rushing yards (65), total yards (113) and points (8) but trailed just 16-8 when Gage Marty scooped up a fumble and raced 25 yards for a touchdown with 9:50 left.
“Our defense, our defensive staff and all the kids on the defensive side just played their tails off,” Solon coach Lucas Stanton said. “They gave us chances and you tip your cap to Waukon’s defense we didn’t have a lot of answers for them.”
Solon had the ball with a chance to mount a game-tying drive but went 3-and-out and O’Neill put the game away with his second touchdown run of the game with 3:47 left.
After seizing scoring opportunities during back-to-back postseason wins the past two weeks Solon couldn’t take advantage on Friday against a stout Waukon defense that entered allowing 13 points and 204 total yards per game.
The best drive of the first half for Solon ended with an Avery Rocksvold interception on a fourth down play at the Indian 9 yard line.
Two plays later Waukon senior quarterback Creed Welch hit Rocksvold with a 44-yard pass that jumpstarted a four-play, 91-yard TD drive capped by a 38-yard scoring run by O’Neill.
That really motivated our team and then on defense the next possession we were just more motivated,” O’Neill said. “I got through a tackle and another guy was coming from the side and stiff armed him.”
Solon went 3-and-out on the next possession and Waukon took advantage of a short field with a 5-play, 40-yard touchdown drive that was aided by a Solon personal foul face mask.
The drive ended with Welch finding Sean Cooper for a 6-yard touchdown pass that put Waukon up 14-0 with 10:55 left in the first half.
“We hurt ourselves a lot, penalties caught up with us again and ultimately that’s on me,” Stanton said. “We have to do better than that, we just have to and that’s something in the offseason that we will hone in on because we can’t have that.”
The defense continued to give Solon opportunities in the second half.
Solon started drives at the Waukon 36, 47 and 22 yard lines in the third quarter but the first two drives ended with punts and the third on a Creed Welch fumble recovery at the Indian 5.
“I told our kids that’s probably as good of a defensive performance as I have been a part of,” Waukon coach Chad Beerman said. “The whole third quarter was played inside our 40 when they had the wind and to get a shutout out of that was big.”
Solon entered averaging 235 rushing yards per game and hadn’t had a game with less than 111 yards on the ground this season.
Waukon held Solon to 65 rushing yards on 33 carries.
“Their two linebackers Snitker, O’Neill and the Hennessey kid they were all over the place,” Stanton said. “Their defensive line did a good job too. There were times we had something going and we’d have a penalty and we didn’t take advantage of field position.
Solon had just four first downs and less than 50 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter when Marty gave the Spartans a chance.
The junior defensive lineman scooped up a fumble off a botched double reverse by Waukon and went 25-yards untouched for a score.
Blake Timmons hit Colton Hoffman for the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 16-8.
Waukon made all the plays late to stop a comeback.
The Indians had a pair of tackles for loss on the ensuing Solon possession which set up O’Neill for a 4-yard touchdown run that put Waukon up 24-8.
Timmons finished 5-of-17 passing for 48 yards with two interceptions for Solon.
“They did a good job of getting pressure when we did try to pass, they did a good job on Hoffman which we expected and their were some times where we weren’t able to take advantage when they left him a little open.”
First downs 6 15
Rushes-yards 33-65 38-128
Comp-Att-Int 5-17-2 9-24-2
Passing yards 48 98
Total yards 113 226
Punts-avg 8-28.5 5-30.6
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-1
Penalties-yards 7-54 1-5
Solon 0 0 0 8 – 8
Waukon 6 10 0 8 – 24
WAU – Ethan O’Neill 38 run (Run failed)
WAU – Sean Cooper 6 pass from Creed Welch (Pat Hennessy run)
WAU – Blocked punt out of endzone for safety
SOL – Gage Marty 25 fumble return (Colton Hoffman pass from Blake Timmons)
WAU – O’Neill 4 run (O’Neill run)
RUSHING – Solon: Jackson Ryan 11-30, Blake Timmons 13-23, Hayden Taylor 4-7, Carson Miller 4-6, Colton Hoffman 1-(-2). Waukon: Ethan O’Neill 21-115, Creed Welch 10-26, Pat Hennessy 3-2, Lincoln Snitker 3-(-4), Team 1-(-11).
PASSING – Solon: Blake Timmons 5-17-2 48. Waukon: 9-24-2 98.
RECEIVING – Solon: Colton Hoffman 2-33, Ben Cusick 1-15, Carson Miller 1-2, Jackson Ryan 1-(-2). Waukon: Lincoln Snitker 3-39, Ethan O’Neill 2-8, Sean Cooper 2-6, Avery Rocksvold 1-44, Pat Hennessy 1-3.