116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SOLON — If you were looking to find Pella's flaws Friday night, you would've had to look through a microscope to find any, as No. 1 Pella defeated No. 5 Solon, 28-14, in Class 3A quarterfinal action.
The Dutch were led by senior quarterback Nick Finney, who was part of every scoring play for Pella. Finney threw for more than 300 yards and had three passing TDs. He also capped Pella's final scoring drive with a 1-yard TD run.
'First of all, our line gave me a ton of time to throw tonight,' said Finney. 'And my wide receivers, Ryan (VanWyk) and Donovan (Holterhaus), made some great catches.'
Each team was held scoreless in the first quarter, but Pella made its move in the second.
Finney hooked up with the 6-5 VanWyk for a 23-yard TD strike coming on a crucial fourth-down conversion. And with just 21 seconds left before the half, Finney again found VanWyk, this time on a 59-yard bomb. Finney then connected with a wide-open Tyson Wassenaar in the end zone for the two-point conversion.
The Dutch defense was stout in the first half, allowing Solon just 10 yards of total offense, and Pella took a 14-0 lead into the half.
In the third, Finney was at it again as he found Wassenaar on a 32-yard TD completion. This strike gave Pella a 21-0 advantage.
Pella's Drew Pringle then intercepted a Blayze Griffis pass and returned it to Solon's 19-yard line. From there, Finney connected with Avery VanZee for an 18-yard completion. Finney went on to punch it in from a yard out to give the Dutch a 28-0 lead.
But Solon never packed it in. Griffis rebounded as he hooked up with Payton Bandy for an 11-yard TD.
Griffis then threw another strike to Bandy on the Spartans' next possession from 18 yards out. Bandy's second score cut the lead to 28-14 with 7:57 to go.
The Spartans were again driving deep into Pella territory when Holterhaus came up with a jump-ball interception in the end zone to end Solon's final scoring threat.
Pella will take on second-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier in Thursday's semifinals at 8:21 p.m.