Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – When Kevin Miller watches the film of Solons’ rescheduled matchup with Mount Pleasant there will undoubtedly be areas the veteran Solon coach sees that need improving.
A few things Miller won’t need to check the film for are toughness or heart.
He saw plenty of both from his team on Saturday.
Class 3A third-ranked Solon rallied from a 14-point first half deficit and survived for a 34-28 win over upset-minded Mount Pleasant (4-3) on Saturday at Spartan Stadium in a game originally scheduled for Friday night.
“We gave up some big plays in pass coverage but I was just extremely proud of our resiliency and our resolve,” Miller said. “Mount Pleasant played great, they executed well on offense and we made some mistakes but how our kids responded is what I’m most proud of obviously.”
Solon (7-0) allowed 414 yards of total offense, committed three turnovers and had an interception returned for a touchdown but made enough big plays late on both sides of the ball to run its regular season winning streak to 23.
Cam Miller threw three touchdown passes to AJ Coons and Coal Flansburg ran for a pair of scores including the go-head scored with 6:19 left as Solon improved to 3-0 in District 6 play.
“We were just trying to stay calm, we had to deal with some problems early and they played well,” Cam Miller said. “We just had to stick with our game plan and just do our thing.
A normally dominant Solon defense gave up season-highs in points and total yards to a Mount Pleasant offense led by senior quarterback Zach Beason.
Beason threw for 374 yards and a touchdown and put Mount Pleasant up 28-21 with his second rushing touchdown of the game, a 3-yard with 1:14 left in the third quarter.
“We knew they were going to come in here and play hard,” Solon senior defensive end Mason Stahle said. “It was just a battle and we knew they were going to be good.”
The Solon defense bent plenty on Saturday but came up with stops on the Panthers’ final three possessions to preserve the win.
Stahle ended back-to-back Mount Pleasant fourth-quarter possessions with sacks and Jackson Pipolo knocked away a Beason pass in the end zone as time expired.
“We responded,” Stahle said. “There was certainly adversity today. There was a lot of it but we overcame it.”
Mount Pleasant provided an early wake-up call in a game that kicked off at 11 a.m. due to a string of thunderstorms on Friday night.
After a scoreless first quarter Mount Pleasant took a 13-0 lead with a pair of touchdowns in less than a minute.
Beason capped a 12-play, 74-yard drive with a 1-yard TD plunge to put Mount Pleasant up 7-0.
On the second play of the ensuing drive Chase Lamm stepped in front of a Cam Miller pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-0 with 5:51 left.
That started a wild stretch that featured 35 points in the final seven minutes of the first half.
Solon answered on a 58-yard strike from Miller to Coons but on the next offensive play Beason hit Lamm for a 64-yard touchdown strike that pushed the lead to 21-7.
Trailing by 14 Solon got the ball back with 28.6 seconds left in the first half and produced a drive that changed the game.
Solon went 88 yards in four plays and cut the lead to 21-14 when Miller hit Coons with a 35-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the first half.
“That touchdown before the half really changed the game,” Cam Miller said. “We were down 14 and to be down one touchdown at half was huge for our momentum. I’ve never been so happy to be down by a touchdown at halftime.”
Adam Bock picked up six yards on the first play of the drive then ripped off a 38-yard run to the Mount Pleasant 44.
“We wanted to try to get the ball to midfield,” Kevin Miller said. “Adam’s run was huge, that got us in field position to make a big throw and Cam put it on there and AJ made a nice catch.”
Out of a timeout Miller hit Dillon Hoit for a 9-yard gain setting up the 35-yard TD strike to Coons who outjumped a Mount Pleasant defender in the end zone.
“We ran two vertical routs trying to keep me and Bock in a one-on-one matchup and Cam just made a great throw,” Coons said. “The line gave him enough time and the rest was easy I just had to make the catch.”
Solon pulled even with 3:50 left in the third quarter when Flansburg powered in from five yards out to tie the game at 21.
However, Mount Pleasant answered with a 6-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard run by Beason.
The rest of the game belonged to the Spartans.
Miller hit Coons with a 46-yard touchdown pass on a go route to tie the game at 28 with 11:38 left.
Coons finished with 10 receptions for 196 yards and the three touchdowns while Miller completed 16-of-23 passes for 228 yards.
After the interception for a touchdown in the second quarter Miller was 11-of-14 for 207 yards and three touchdowns.
“I was just trying to clear my head, stay calm and do what we do,” Cam Miller said. “I just had to get the ball to AJ.”
Stahle stopped a Mount Pleasant drive with a sack on 3rd and 10 and Solon marched 62 yards in 11 plays for the go-ahead drive.
Flansburg made it 34-28 when he drove into the end zone on fourth and goal from the two.
“We made plays when we needed to,” Kevin Miller said. “We left some plays on the field but I was proud of our team and how we responded in the face of some of the various challenges we had.”
Stahle came up with his biggest play on the ensuing Mount Pleasant drive dragging down Beason on fourth and 9 at the Spartan 13.
Beason made one final charge, driving Mount Pleasant from their own 5 to the Solon 23 in the final minute but Pipolo knocked the final pass away in the corner of the end zone as time expired.
“It was really nerve wracking,” Coons said. “We were just trying not to let anything over the top. They ran a route to the end zone and we were just lucky that Pipolo made a great play to knock it down. It was a great to get a win like that because they played a really great game.”
First downs 17 17
Rushes-yards 41-172 24-40
Comp-Att-Int 16-23-2 20-32-1
Passing yards 228 374
Total yards 400 414
Punts-Avg. 4-49.2 5-33.4
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 4-45 4-30
MP – Zach Beason 1 run (Khang Truong kick)
MP – Chase Lamm 40 interception return (Kick failed)
SOL – AJ Coons 58 pass from Cam Miller (Cael O’Neil kick)
MP – Lamm 64 pass from Beason (Levi Puig pass from Beason)
SOL – AJ Coons 35 pass from Miller (O’Neil kick)
SOL – Coal Flansburg 5 run (Aidan Dall kick)
MP – Beason 3 run (Truong kick)
SOL – Coons 46 pass from Miller (Dall kick)
SOL – Flansburg 2 run (Kick failed)
RUSHING – SOL: Adam Bock 24-122, Cam Miller 6-27, Coal Flansburg 6-20, Hunter Kula 3-3, Seamus Poynton 1-2, Team 1-(-2). MP: Zach Beason 20-26, Logan Bass 2-6, Levi Puig 1-3, Rylan Seberg 1-5.
PASSING – SOL: Cam Miller 16-23-2 228. MP: Zach Beason 20-32-1 374.
RECEIVING – SOL: AJ Coons 10-196, Dillon Hoit 4-29, Hunter Kula 1-6, Adam Bock 1-(-3). MP: Rylan Seberg 7-122, Chase Lamm 6-126, Tucker Johnson 4-90, Levi Puig 2-21, Tate Shull 1-15.