Your Prep Sports
SOLON – At 160 pounds Sean Stahle certainly doesn’t fit the bill of a big running back.
The Solon junior admits that early on his stature was a question mark for some as he looked to take over shouldering a majority of the load in the Solon offensive backfield.
Whatever Stahle may lack in size he has more than made up for in production.
Stahle has rushed for career highs in each of his first three varsity games, his latest a 202-yard, two-touchdown effort in a 28-14 win over Williamsburg on Friday.
“Some people doubted me at the start of the year, they said I was too small,” Stahle said. “I think I’m showing them different.”
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Stahle is more speedster than smashmouth style but has showed a toughness that makes him effective inside the tackles while taking control as the lead back in the Solon offense.
After running for 87 yards and a touchdown on just four carries in a season-opening win over West Liberty the junior has been at his best the past two weeks in wins over Mount Vernon and Williamsburg.
Stahle ran for 195 yards and three scores and also caught three passes for 65 yards in a come-from-behind win over Mount Vernon.
On Friday Stahle ran for 202 yards on 30 carries in the win over the Raiders.
As the game went on Stahle seemed to get better.
Both of his touchdown runs came in the fourth quarter as Solon snapped a 14-all tie.
“The coaches talked to our offensive line about them stepping up and they really did,” Stahle said. “They turned it up.”
With its top two running backs from last season gone the role was open for the Spartans entering this season.
Stahle has taken over that top spot averaging 9.5 yards per carry while rushing for 484 yards and six touchdowns in the first three games.
News and Notes
Rest for Regina: Regina wasn’t looking for a week off just two games into the season but that is what the Regals got when its schedule game with Mid-Prairie was cancelled.
The Regals are awarded a win via forfeit for the game to improve to 3-0 on the season and will return to action on Friday against Mediapolis.
Tackling Machine: West High junior Ryne Vander Leest has been among the best in the state at finding the football this season ranking fourth in Class 5A with 24.5 tackles.
Vander Leest had a career-high 10 tackles, including five solo stops, in a 39-31 loss at Dubuque Hempstead on Friday and now has a team-high 12 solo stops on the season.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Vander Leest has led the Trojans in tackles in all three games this season recording at least six tackles in each game.
Defensive offense: A defense scoring more points than it has allowed in three games is an impressive feat.
City High has done that and a lot more this season allowing five total points while scoring four touchdowns through the first three games.
The Little Hawks had a defensive touchdown in wins over Liberty High and Cedar Rapids Jefferson to open the season and doubled that total with a pair of defensive scores in a 43-5 win over Ames.
Ben Kueter returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown on the opening series of the game and Jacob Willamson took an interception back 67 yards for a score in the second half.
City High has produced nine total turnovers during its 3-0 start to the season.
100+ to the House: Speaking of defensive touchdowns its tough to top the pick Clear Creek Amana junior Reece Hoffman made on Friday against Washington.
It’s almost impossible to have a longer return than Hoffman had against the Demons.
Hoffman picked off an Ethan Patterson pass and returned it 102 yards for a touchdown.
Players of the Week
Offensive Player of the Week: West Branch senior Peyton Miller did it all while accounting for four touchdowns in a 52-0 win over Maquoketa Valley.
Miller returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown, caught three passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a 5-yard score.
Defensive Player of the Week: City High junior linebacker Ben Kueter continued his stellar start to the season with a big game against Ames.
Kueter, who ranks ninth in 5A with 20.5 tackles this season, had 9.5 tackles, including five for loss and returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown in a 43-5 win over Ames.
Special Teams Player of the Week: West High senior place kicker Matt Jetton made all five of his kicks in a 39-31 loss to Dubuque Hempstead make four extra points and a 4- yard field goal.
Offense: Liberty High senior Luke Meyers caught eight passes for 136 yards and a touchdown and also averaged 42 yards per kick off return in a 21-10 loss to Western Dubuque.
Offense: West High senior Mason Applegate rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and also caught three passes for 77 yards.
Offense: Clear Creek Amana senior Gage Freeman rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 24 yards in a 48-14 win over Washington.
Defense: West Branch junior linebacker Andy Henson had a team-high six tackles including two for loss as the Bears recorded their first shutout since 2019 with a 52-0 blanking of Maquoketa Valley.
Defense: Liberty High senior linebacker Griffin Kraft had eight tackles, four solo, and 2.5 tackles for loss in a 21-10 loss to Western Dubuque.