Solon Starts Strong in Win Over West Liberty

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Photo by Rob Howe

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

SOLON – It took Solon more than four quarters and 48 minutes of football to find the endzone against West Liberty last season before escaping with a 7-0 overtime win over the Comets.

On Friday the Spartans needed less than two minutes to take control.

Solon needed just five plays and 101 seconds to put together a 61-yard touchdown drive on the opening possession of the game and rolled to 48-7 win over West Liberty (0-2) on military appreciation night at Spartan Field in Solon.  

“We knew that we took them too lightly last year and we weren’t going to make that mistake again,” Solon senior AJ Coons said. “They have a lot of guys that are capable of making plays and we knew we had to come out and play a better game.”

Class 3A third-ranked Solon (2-0) scored on its first two drives, led 28-0 at halftime and rolled up nearly 500 yards of offense while stretching its regular season winning streak to 27.

Senior quarterback Cam Miller threw for 259 yards and a pair of touchdowns, with Coons hauling in four passes for 125 yards, and five different Spartans had at least 34 yards rushing as Solon chewed up 233 yards on the ground.  

“Last year we didn’t execute the way we wanted to against them,” Cam Miller said. “I thought this year we had a great week of practice and we did what we were supposed to tonight.”

After struggling offensively against the Comets last season Solon got going early on Friday.

Coons caught a 42-yard pass from Miller on the first play of the game, going over a West Liberty defender to haul in the catch.

Three plays later Jace Andregg snagged a 15-yard touchdown pass from Miller to give Solon a 7-0 lead with 10:09 left in the opening quarter.

After a forcing West Liberty to go three-and-out on its opening possession Solon quickly went 46 yards in six plays and took a 14-0 lead when Seamus Poynton scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns on a 5-yard jaunt.

“Every game we would like to start with the ball,” Cam Miller said. “I felt like this week and last week we did a good job of setting the tone on offense and just punching it in the first two drives.”

Solon took control of the game with two touchdowns in the final five minutes of the first half.

The 6-foot-4 Coons made a leaping grab of a Miller pass for a 44-yard gain and one play later Miller rumbled 22 yards to the 1 yard line to set up another Poynton touchdown run with five minutes left in the half.

The Spartans took a 28-0 halftime lead with an 8-play, 80-yard drive in 1:42 to end the half.

Cole Arduser capped the drive by hauling in 15-yard touchdown pass from Miller.

“We played considerably better this year, we executed better but with that being said we have to play sharper,” Solon coach Kevin Miller said. “We have some stuff to clean up. Whether it be dropped balls or guys not doing what they need to be doing to be successful on both sides of the football, the penalties those are the types of things we have to clean up and be better at.”

Solon put the game out of reach in the second half.

Andregg scored on a 9-yard touchdown run and Poynton added another 1-yard scoring plunge set up by a diving 42-yard grab by Arduser that gave the Spartans first and goal at the Comet 1.

“We’ve been working together a lot off the field and he has done some great things,” Cam Miller said of Arduser. “He dropped one early but he came back and made some plays later.”

Solon limited West Liberty to 87 total yards in the first half and allowed just one first down in the second half on a late 80-yard touchdown run by Will Esmoil.

“Defensively we did some nice things,” Miller said. “We kept them in check for the most part, we had a few breakdowns but I thought defensively we did some really nice things against them tonight.”

After struggling through one of the worst games of his three-year career against the Comets last season Cam Miller completed 16-of-25 passes for 259 yards and two scores on Friday and also rushed for 52 yards.

Miller completed passes to seven different receivers with six Spartans making at least two receptions.

“I’m just trying to get all of those guys the ball and build their confidence,” Miller said. “We want to get the ball to our guys in space and let them make plays.”

Despite the yards and points Kevin Miller was focused on a lack of execution for his team that included several dropped passes and seven penalties that cost Solon 80 yards.

“We wanted to kind of open up the playbook and try some different things and I was disappointed in some of the execution,” Kevin Miller said. “We can execute better.”

                                          SOL                  WL

First Downs                       20                      6

Rushes-yards                  35-233              22-134

Comp-Att-Int                    16-25-1              6-16-2

Passing yards                   259                   39

Total yards                         492                  173

Punts-Avg.                          1-46               6-39.3

Fumbles-lost                       0-0                  1-0

Penalties                             7-80               3-30

Solon                         14  14  7  13 –  48 

West Liberty              0    0   0   7  –   7

SOL – Jace Andregg 15 pass from Cam Miller (Cael O’Neill kick)

SOL – Seamus Poynton 5 run (O’Neill kick)

SOL – Poynton 1 run (O’Neill kick)

SOL – Cole Arduser 15 pass from Miller (O’Neill kick)

SOL – Andregg 8 run (O’Neill kick)

SOL – Poynton 1 run (O’Neill kick)

SOL – True Eidahl 10 run (Kick failed)

WL – Will Esmoil 80 run (Bryan Martinez-Zavala kick)

Individual Statistics

RUSHING – SOL: Seamus Poynton 15-58, Cam Miller 6-52, True Eidahl 6-51, Jace Andregg 4-40, Caleb Ebert 3-34, Team 1-(-2). WL: Will Esmoil 10-121, Talen Dengler 8-15, Gavin Chown 2-0, Jahsiah Galvan-Batie 1-0, Team 1-(-2).

PASSING – SOL: Cam Miller 16-25-1 259. WL: Talen Dengler 3-9-1 32, Caleb Wulf 3-5-0 32, Will Esmoil 0-1-0 0.

RECEIVING – SOL: AJ Coons 4-125, Lucas TePoel 3-9, Cole Arduser 2-57, Seamus Poynton 2-41, Jace Andregg 2-19, Colton Hoffman 2-6, Jax Flynn 1-5. WL: Kobe Simon 3-5, Gavin Chown 1-25, Brodie Kilburn 1-6, Austin McMichael 1-3.  

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