116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SOLON — Get ahead, stay ahead.
Solon started quick via an opportune defense that gave the offense ample opportunity to get on track.
And get on track they did.
On the strength of five forced first-half turnovers and a monster night from quarterback/defensive back Blake Timmons, the Class 3A seventh-ranked Spartans ran away from Grinnell, 51-7, Friday night in a battle of District 5 unbeatens.
Solon (4-0, 6-2) clinched the district crown.
“It feels great,” Timmons said. “That’s one of our goals, but our bigger goals are still in front of us. We’re excited. We’re growing at the right time.”
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Grinnell (4-4, 3-1) started well enough. The Tigers’ first snap resulted in a 5-yard completion. As Braden Johnson fought for extra yards, Sean Stahle ripped the ball away and took it 26 yards for a Solon touchdown 20 seconds into the game.
Grinnell responded with quarterback Brady Coffman ripping off a 31-yard run. Tailback Kinnick Johnson added a 21-yarder, then scored from 3 yards out to quickly tie the game.
It took the Spartans 29 seconds to answer.
Brett White took off for 46 yards on Solon’s first play from scrimmage. Timmons weaved his way through the defense on a 20-yard keeper into the end zone to cap a three-play, 66-yard drive.
Grinnell’s next possession ended abruptly with the first of Timmons’ three interceptions.
In the second quarter, Timmons was intercepted. Two plays later, Solon’s Ben Kampman fell on a Coffman fumble. Timmons added his second rushing score.
With the Tigers driving just before the half, Timmons made a diving interception at the 2-yard line to preserve a 21-7 halftime lead.
“I was just reading my keys,” Timmons said. “Staying with my guy. Coach put us in really good situations with our coverage and I think that really helped out.”
The second half began the same as the first, a Solon touchdown on the first snap. Timmons took off down the right side for a 67-yard touchdown run. It was a sign of things to come as the second half was dominated by the Spartans.
“It was a fun night,” said Timmons, who played his last regular-season game on his home field. “It was a night to send the other seniors and myself off on the right note. We knew that the district title was on the line and it would set us up well for playoffs.
“We had a ton of motivation going into the game. It was easy to get up for this one.”
The Tigers managed just one first down in the second half, finishing with 113 yards of offense. The Spartans racked up 373 yards, with 328 coming on the ground. Timmons’ 9-yard touchdown pass to Oaken Foster added to his 174 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns.
Backup quarterback Brayden Rustey capped the scoring with a 39-yard run in the fourth quarter.
With the district title in hand, the Spartans will travel to Keokuk next week to wrap up the regular season.