116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SOLON — The fifth-ranked Solon football team was squandering a chance to extend its lead late in the second quarter of its 49-14 first-round Class 3A playoff win over Benton Community.
Following an interception from Bobcat quarterback Spencer Touro, the Spartans got called for holding on first down just outside the red zone. Two more incomplete passes made it third-and-22 at the Benton 36 with just over a minute left in the second quarter.
Then, lightning struck. Spartan tight end Jacob Coons caught a pass from quarterback Blayze Griffis on a seam route over the middle of the field. The Spartans went up 21-7 after the PAT and didn't look back.
'It was a big play, no question about it,' Solon Coach Kevin Miller said. 'It gave us big momentum going into the second half. At the end of the day, it's all about playmakers making plays.'
Solon's Graeson Dall took whatever life remained out of the Bobcats on the first play of the second half. He took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, putting the Spartans up 28-7.
The team wasn't done scoring, however, and Griffis was able to execute down the stretch. The Solon offense was — for the most part — able to move the ball well.
It helped that the Spartans were able to get running back Trevor Nelson going after halftime, as he carried the ball 17 times for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Griffis finished 6-of-12 passing for 108 yards and two touchdowns, adding 80 yards and another two scores on the ground.
'Our offensive line did well tonight, our receivers are good at getting open, which makes my job easy,' Griffis said.
Up next for Solon (9-1) will be a home date against No. 1 Pella (10-0), which beat Oskaloosa 34-14. It will be a challenge, but one Miller thinks his team is suited for.
'Our focus all along has been one practice at a time, one snap at a time,' he said. 'We're not a team to get too far ahead of ourselves.'