Your Prep Sports
SOLON – For more than a year Solon stewed over the thought it let one get away in a season-opening loss to Williamsburg last fall.
“We thought about that game a lot for a long time,” Solon senior Jake Quillin said. “We felt like that loss maybe cost us a trip to the Dome last year.”
For the first three quarters of Friday’s rematch second-year Solon head coach Lucas Stanton felt like he was watching a replay of the Raiders’ 17-14 come-from-behind win in 2020.
Just like last season Solon seemed to control the first half but the game was tied 7-7 at the half.
Like last year Solon took a 14-7 lead in the third quarter only to have the Raiders pull even.
“It was a lot like last year,” Stanton said shaking his head. “It was eerily similar to last year.”
Unlike last season it was the Spartans that came up with the big plays late.
Sean Stahle scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns as Class 3A fifth-ranked Solon (3-0) scored the final 14 points in a 28-14 win over Williamsburg (0-3) in a non-district contest at Spartan Stadium.
“That game last year really stuck with us,” Quillin said. “We thought about that all week and I’m really happy we were able to get this one back.”
A year ago Williamsburg scored 10 points in the final six minutes to stun Solon in Stanton’s debut.
On Friday it was the Spartan’s that asserted themselves late in the game.
Stahle rushed for 111 of his 202 yards after halftime and had touchdown runs of 6 and 9 yards in the fourth quarter as Solon put the game away.
“That’s how our team works,” Stahle said. “We are better in the second half.”
Both teams took advantage of turnovers to score first-half touchdowns.
Solon defensive back Michael Pipolo recovered a fumble at the Raider 32 yard line on the first series of the game and five plays later Blake Timmons scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to give Solon an early 7-0 lead.
Williamsburg answered with a 20-yard touchdown run by Gable Dayton with 2:22 left in the first half that was set up when Solon muffed a punt and the Raiders recovered at the Spartan 31.
“I have a lot of respect for coach (Curt) Ritchie and Williamsburg,” Stanton said. “That’s how they play, they are going to kind of try to lull you to sleep on offense, they play great defense, they are good in special teams and they are going to try to shorten the game and keep the score low and they had a great game plan coming in.”
Solon again took advantage of a turnover when Brett White recovered a fumble on the second Williamsburg play of the second half and two plays later Timmons hit Quillin streaking down the sideline for a 39-yard touchdown pass.
“We had a where I run an out and up and they were in man and we talked in halftime that it was going to work,” Quillin said. “The first play we ran it and were able to score a touchdown.”
Williamsburg again answered via a turnover as Madox Doehrman sacked Timmons and caused a fumble that Kyle Goodell scooped up and returned 25 yards for a touchdown with 5:53 left in the third quarter.
“We knew their defense was going to be the best we have seen,” Stanton said. “They are so disciplined with what they do on defense, they move, they have great athletes over there and they have great coaches.”
A similar scene to last season seemed to be playing out when Williamsburg had the ball and the momentum with under a minute to play in the third quarter.
Quillin got both back for Solon when he picked off a Cade Ritchie pass at the 30 yard line and returned it to the Raider 19.
The play was nearly identical to the play the Raiders scored the tying touchdown on late in last year’s opener, a quick pass to the tight end running up the seam.
This time Quillin was ready.
“We were expecting that play,” Quillin said. “We knew they would run it and run it, run it 20 times and one play they were going to throw a seam down the middle and we waited for it and were ready.”
Two plays later Stahle scampered in for a 6-yard touchdown that gave Solon a lead it would never give up.
After forcing a punt on the ensuing Williamsburg drive Solon put together it’s best drive of the game, marching 84 yards in 11 yards.
Stahle capped the drive with a 9-yard run with 3:44 left.
“Our line really opened up some holes in the second half,” Stahle said. “We were able to throw the ball and run it. We were a dual threat team and if we keep doing that we will win a lot of games.”
Stahle finished with a career-high 202 yards on 30 carries while Timmons rushed for 85 yards and a score.
The Spartans forced four turnovers while holding Williamsburg to 165 yards of total offense.
“I think we just took advantage of more opportunities in the second half and we didn’t panic,” Stanton said. “We had a couple of instances but we stuck to the game play. We liked our adjustments at half time.
First downs 17 7
Rushes-yards 49-298 32-70
Comp-Att-Int 3-12-0 8-17-2
Passing yards 59 95
Total yards 357 165
Punts-avg. 4-38.8 8-38.3
Fumbles-lost 3-2 4-2
Penalties-yards 4-35 6-70
Solon 7 0 7 14 – 28
Williamsburg 0 7 7 0 – 14
SOL – Blake Timmons 11 run (Brent Lumpkin kick)
WIL – Gable Dayton 20 run (Alex Marovets kick)
SOL – Jake Quillin 39 pass from Timmons (Lumpkin kick)
WIL – Kyle Goodell 25 fumble return (Marovets kick)
SOL – Sean Stahle 6 run (Lumpkin kick)
SOL – Stahle 9 run (Lumpkin kick)
RUSHING – Solon: Sean Stahle 30-202, Blake Timmons 15-85, Mac McCarty 2-9, Jake Quillin 1-4, Team 1-(-2). Williamsburg: Gable Dayton 15-48, Clayten Steckly 4-24, Owen Douglas 11-16, Cade Ritchie 2-(-18).
PASSING – Solon: Blake Timmons 3-12-0 59. Williamsburg: Cade Ritchie 8-17-2 95.
RECEIVING – Solon: Jake Quillin 2-50, Carson Miller 1-9. Williamsburg: Jake Weber 4-78, Kobe Julius 2-5, Derek Weisskopf 1-13, Gable Dayton 1-(-1).