IOWA CITY – What a difference a week makes for the Iowa City Regina defense.
The Class 1A top-ranked Regals were on the wrong side of a record-setting rushing performance in Week 1. This week they shut out a traditional powerhouse.
Regina held rival Solon to 133 total yards – including only 36 in the second half, seven first downs and forced three turnovers in a dominating 34-0 win Friday night in a non-district football game at Regina Stadium.
“It was huge,” Regina Coach Marv Cook said. “Obviously, they’re prideful guys and they want to go out and represent themselves. Our defense had some great adjustments and got them out of their comfort zone.”
Senior Jacob Phillips ran for 130 yards and three second-half touchdowns for the Regals (1-1).
Regina led 7-0 at halftime, but quickly jumped on the Spartans in the third quarter.
Phillips capped off a 13-play drive to open the second half with a 7-yard TD run.
Regina’s Trae Rogers intercepted a downfield pass on Solon’s ensuing possession. On the very next play, Thomas Rapp perfectly sold a pump-fake and went over the top to a wide-open Jake Jensen for an 84-yard score and 20-0 lead.
Solon (1-1) had its opportunities – even controlled field position in the first half – but the Class 3A ninth-ranked team couldn’t convert.
The Spartans lost two fumbles inside Regina’s 30-yard line in the first half.
Solon struggled to gain traction in the second half with the interception, three punts and a turnover on downs after three incompletions and a sack from inside the 10.
Cook credited shifting coverages and better gap recognition in the second half for the defensive improvement.
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“We fixed everything up and we just got on them and kept the pressure on them the whole game,” senior Mason Simpson said. “We fixed up our mental mistakes, tightened them up and just hit them hard everything single play.”
Phillips added TD runs of 11 and 55 yards in the fourth quarter.
Regina quarterback Michael Conlon started the scoring with a 7-yard TD run before halftime.