Prep Football

Solon has high-powered offense with 3 Division-I recruits

Cam Miller, A.J. Coons, Jace Andregg give Spartans athleticism and speed

Solon’s Cam Miller (15) launches a pass to AJ Coons (81) during the first half of play in Solon on Friday, September 1, 2017. The Spartans lead the Regals 27-0 at half. (Justin Torner/Freelance for the Gazette)
Solon’s Cam Miller (15) launches a pass to AJ Coons (81) during the first half of play in Solon on Friday, September 1, 2017. The Spartans lead the Regals 27-0 at half. (Justin Torner/Freelance for the Gazette)
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SOLON — Across the Iowa high school football landscape, there may not be a more accomplished offensive tandem than Solon’s senior quarterback-receiver duo of Cam Miller and AJ Coons.

Add an offensive playmaker like Jace Andregg to the mix and Solon’s offense may give opposing defenses nightmares.

“It’s pretty nice to build your team around three Division-I kids,” said Solon Coach Kevin Miller.

Solon enters this season fresh off of a second consecutive undefeated regular season and a third consecutive Class 3A district title. The 2019 Spartans will lean on their experience and speed at the skill positions as they look to repeat as District 6 champions and make a deep postseason run.

“We want to go undefeated, win our district and go as far as we can in the playoffs,” Miller said.

Solon lost 48-13 in the first round of the playoffs last season to Western Dubuque, the eventual state runner-up. The result of that game is something that’s stuck with the Spartans all offseason.

“Any time you get beat in the manner which we did in the playoffs, it doesn’t sit well with you if you’re a competitor,” Miller saod. “And so I think our kids understand that they have a long ways to go. And this offseason I think they’ve done some good work in their preparation.”

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The offense will be in experienced hands as Cam Miller returns for his third season as Solon’s quarterback.

Cam, a North Dakota State commit and the coach’s son, owns Solon school records for single-season passing yards (1,831), single-season passing touchdowns (26) and career passing touchdowns (51) and is about 400 yards shy of owning Solon’s career passing yardage record.

“I try not to focus on stats very much,” Cam said. “I’d like to have my name at the top of all the leaderboards in Solon history, but at the end of the day I’m just trying to focus on our team success and what we can do.”

Some of his success as a quarterback can be attributed to his chemistry with Coons.

“Me and AJ have been throwing balls to one another since we were 7,” Cam said. “We just have a connection like no other.”

Coons, a 6-foot-5 receiver who’s committed to South Dakota State, owns school records in single-season receiving yards (815), career receiving yards (1,367) and career receiving touchdowns (20). The only receiving record eluding Coons is the single-season receiving touchdown record of 13, which he fell just one short of in 2018.

“Knowing Cam and having the relationship that we have has just made my job so much easier,” Coons said.

In addition to the record-setting duo, the Spartans offensive lineup will feature Andregg, a Cedar Rapids Prairie transfer and Northern Iowa commit who will play some running back and receiver.

“Adding Jace, he’s a phenomenal athlete and playmaker,” Coons said. “I mean, having that added to what we had last year. I have really high expectations for what our offense can do.”

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Along with Andregg, senior Seamus Poynton will split backfield duties in Solon’s spread offense. The two will carry the ball behind an offensive line that Coach Miller describes as an “open competition.”

“I think we have six or seven guys who are capable of starting, and we’re just trying to sift through those guys right now,” he said.

One of the members of the offensive line with a confirmed spot in the starting lineup is all-district tackle Michael Broghammer.

“As long as the line can give Cam enough time to pass to AJ and Jace, we should be set on offense,” Broghammer said.

Broghammer also will be asked to anchor the defensive line. The Spartans will need Broghammer, and others, to step up as they’ll be without their two leading tacklers from last season — Adam Bock and Coal Flansburg.

Despite the losses, Coach Miller has high expectations for his 2019 defense.

“We’ve got five or six linebacker types that run really well, so I think that’s going to be the strength of the defense,” he said.

In 2018, Solon’s defense held opponents to 11 points per game in the regular season. To improve upon that average, Coach Miller said the Spartans will have to be more disciplined and physical.

“We gave up some big plays last year and that’s going to be a focal point for us this season,” he said.

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Solon Spartans

Coach: Kevin Miller (19th year at Solon, 176-32, 22nd year overall, 181-52)

Last year: 9-1, lost in first round of playoffs

Top returners: WR/FS AJ Coons (all-state in 2018), QB Cam Miller (all-district in 2018), OT/DT Michael Broghammer (all-district in 2018), WR/LB Seamus Poynton, WR Joe Stahle, DB Thomas Brandt, OLB Jax Flynn, K Cael O’Neil

Keys to making playoffs: Staying healthy and relying on the depth and experience at skill positions.

Games to watch: Friday at Mt. Vernon, Sept. 6 at home against West Liberty, Oct. 4 at Washington (Iowa) and Oct. 11 at Mount Pleasant.

Schedule

Aug. 30 — at Mount Vernon

Sept, 6 — West Liberty

Sept. 13 — at Marion

Sept. 20 — Davenport Assumption

Sept. 27 — Fort Madison

Oct. 4 — at Washington (Iowa)

Oct. 11 — at Mount Pleasant

Oct. 19 — Keokuk

Oct. 25 — at Fairfield

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