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SOLON – Words on a structure on the edge of town state, “Solon Football: We do what we do.”
The Spartans win football games. This season, they are playing dominant defense.
Third-ranked Solon forced five turnovers and recorded its third shutout of the season, beating No. 8 Washington (Iowa) 40-0, in Class 3A District 5 play Friday night at Spartan Stadium.
Solon has allowed just one touchdown in four games, shutting out three ranked teams from three different classes.
“It’s something we stress,” Solon Coach Kevin Miller said. “We believe defense wins championships. It’s something we promote on a daily basis. We have kids that love to play defense. They are tough and physical and hard-nosed type kids. When you have those kinds of kids typically you’ll have a pretty good defense.”
The Spartans defense stifled the short-handed Demons, who were without starting quarterback Ryan Reighard, and joined in on the scoring.
Washington’s second possession of the game ended with a fumble on a botched punt attempt. The Spartans took over at the 11, leading to a 5-yard touchdown pass from Cam Miller to Kendrick Harris. Coal Flansburg’s successful conversion run made it 14-0 with 11:42 left before halftime.
The Spartans (4-0, 2-0) used a 20-point second quarter, scoring on four straight first-half drives. The defense helped set up the final TD of the stretch and a 26-0 halftime edge.
Solon’s Greg Brandt picked off Luke Turner, returning the ball to the Washington 38 with 2:31 left before halftime. Cam Miller showed the poise that led to 148 yards on 17-of-25 passing and three TDs.
“We just wanted to punch it in so we could get another score,” Cam Miller said. “We got a bigger lead, going into half with more confidence.”
The younger Miller converted on 3rd and 10, hitting Adam Bock in the back left corner of the end zone for a 15-yard TD with 10 seconds left.
“I was just reading the corner and saw him come off,” Cam Miller said. “I just hit him and it was open.”
Cam Miller also hit A.J. Coons for a 5-yard TD pass to make it 20-0 with 6:03 left in the second. Kevin Miller was pleased with the sophomore’s management and distribution, hitting seven different receivers.
“We continue to give him more and more week-in and week-out,” Miller said. “We feel he has a good understanding of what we’re trying to do. I was proud in how he led our offense. He sat in the pocket and took some shots. Still regained his poise.”
Solon’s defense has scored four touchdowns in three of its first four games. Jack Stahle put the defense in the box score. Stahle jumped a quick out pattern and bolted for a 23-yard interception return, putting Solon up 34-0 with 8:16 left in the third.
“They have thrown it a lot, so I was picking up on their signals,” Stahle said. “I saw the quarterback load up and knew I could jump it.”
Harris provided a spark with a 51-yard TD run on Solon’s second possession. He amassed 74 rushing yards in the first half as the Spartans held a 260-59 advantage in offensive yardage.
“We just do our jobs and work as a team,” Harris said. “It leads to our success.
“We just play without regrets. We play hard no matter what.”
Washington’s Jaivonn Willis rushed for 63 yards and added 42 receiving for the Demons (3-1, 1-1).
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